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Three Men Hit With Federal Charges In Infamous Kansas 'Swatting' Death


Three men were indicted in the fatal police shooting of Andrew Finch. Handguns are displayed during the NRA Annual Meeting & Exhibits at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on May 5, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

By Alex Perry, International Business Times

The Department of Justice indicted three men Wednesday in connection with the infamous “swatting” death of Andrew Finch in December. Tyler Barriss, Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill were all hit with several charges for their alleged roles in the incident, in which a hoax 911 call resulted in the fatal police shooting of Finch by officer Justin Rapp.

Barriss, 25, was hit with the most charges, as he is the one who allegedly reported the false hostage situation at Finch’s address in Wichita, Kansas, on Dec. 28, 2017. His charges include making false reports to emergency services, wire fraud, making interstate threats, among other charges, according to the Department of Justice’s news release.

On Thursday, the DOJ indicted Barriss for a separate case in which he allegedly called in fake bomb threats to the headquarters of the FCC and FBI.

Viner, 18, and Gaskill, 19, were charged with wire fraud and obstruction of justice, among other things. It was their dispute in an online multiplayer “Call of Duty” game that ultimately led to Finch’s death.

The two men were teammates in the popular online shooter video game when they got into an argument. Gaskill, a Wichita resident, provided an old home address of his to Viner in the heat of the argument. Viner then gave that address to Barriss, thinking Gaskill still lived there.

At that point, Barriss reportedly called up the Wichita Police Department and reported a fake hostage situation, trying to goad officers into showing up and hassling Gaskill. This act is known in the online gaming community as “swatting.”

However, Finch resided at the address instead. When Finch came to the door, Officer Rapp shot and killed the unarmed 28-year-old. Rapp controversially will not be charged in the fatal shooting of Finch.

Swatting has gained popularity in recent years as a way to intimidate online rivals, with people typically calling in fake threats while the victim is streaming themselves playing video games. Though Finch was not even remotely involved with the original gaming dispute, his death is believed to be the first as a result of a swatting call.


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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Three Men Hit With Federal Charges In Infamous Kansas 'Swatting' Death
Three Men Hit With Federal Charges In Infamous Kansas 'Swatting' Death
U.S. - U.S. Daily News
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