WICHITA (CBSLA) — The Los Angeles man whose phone “prank” allegedly set in motion a chain of events that led to a Midwestern man’s death has been charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Tyler Raj Barris made his first court appearance in Wichita, Kansas Friday.
The 25-year-old is said to have made a fake emergency call to Wichita police Dec. 28, which ended with the death of Andrew Finch, 28.
Barriss is accused of “Swatting,” the act of falsely reporting a major crime to police in hopes of inciting a police response, most commonly practiced among online video game players live-streaming their play.
Police said Barriss called Wichita City Hall from L.A., eventually posing to 911 as a man who said his father had been shot in the head and that he was holding his mother and sibling at gunpoint. He also claimed he poured gasoline inside the home and “might just set it on fire.”
When police arrived at the Wichita address given by the man on the phone, they surrounded the home. Police said Andrew Finch went opened his front door and was ordered to put his hands up and move slowly. An officer shot a single round when Finch reportedly reached for his waistband, striking the unarmed man. Finch, the father of two, died at a hospital shortly thereafter.
Online discussion pointed to a “Call of Duty” tournament prompting the fake call.
Barriss was charged with mischief and fraud by police in Calgary for a similar prank less than a week before the incident in Kansas.
Barriss was being held on $500,000 bond Friday.
He is next scheduled to appear in court on Jan. 25.