A 25-year-old man has been arrested over an alleged hoax phone call that led to police fatally shooting an innocent man.
Tyler Barriss from South Los Angeles was arrested on Friday, Dec. 29, on suspicion of making the fake call, KABC-TV reported.
Authorities say the hoax call was a case of “swatting”, or a prank in which someone falsely reports a serious crime to get police or a SWAT team to turn up at another person’s address.
In the prank 911 call, Barriss claimed that his father was accidentally shot in the head and his brother, sister, and mother were held hostage, according to Wichita police Deputy Chief Troy Livingston.
According to Fox News, the hoax call was a result of an online argument between two “Call of Duty” gamers. Barriss called the police and reportedly gave them the address where he thought the other gamer lived.
But the address he gave was the home of 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who police say was not involved in the dispute.
Finch opened his door when police officers arrived at his home on the evening of Thursday, Dec. 28. He moved a hand towards his waistband as officers told him to put his hands up. An officer thought Finch was reaching for a gun, and fired a single shot that turned out to be fatal.
Finch died minutes later at a hospital and was found unarmed, according to Livingston.
“Due to the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim,” he said, during a press conference.
The mother of the victim, Lisa Finch, told reporters that her son was not a gamer.