In December of 2017, Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles was playing Call of Duty with another gamer in Wichita. The two got into some kind of dispute and Barriss “SWATted” the Wichita player. But the other gamer, Shane Gaskill, suspecting what was happening, gave Barris an old address.
When Barriss reported a shooting and kidnapping in progress at Gaskill’s former address, police came in heavy and Andrew Finch, who wasn’t involved at all, was shot and killed. Other gamers suspected what happened and Barris was arrested for the “prank” shortly thereafter.
Now . . .
A California man pleaded guilty Tuesday to making afollowing a dispute between two online gamers over a $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game.
Tyler R. Barriss, 26, admitted to making the false report resulting in a death, as well as cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly “SWATting” calls in Kansas. The deal with prosecutors will send him to prison for between 20 and 25 years, if the judge accepts it. He had previously pleaded not guilty in Kansas. …
As part of the plea agreement with federal prosecutors, Barriss pleaded guilty to a total of 51 charges that included federal charges initially filed in California and the District of Columbia related to other fake calls and threats.
As the prosecutor said,
“Without ever stepping foot in Wichita, the defendant created a chaotic situation that quickly turned from dangerous to deadly,” U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a news release. “His reasons were trivial and his disregard for the safety of other people was staggering.”
This wasn’t the first time Barriss made bogus police reports.
In the case from the District of Columbia, Barriss pleaded guilty to two counts for making hoax bomb threats in phone calls to the headquarters of the FBI and the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C.
In the California case, he pleaded guilty to 46 counts for making false reports that bombs were planted at high schools, universities, shopping malls, and television stations. He called from Los Angeles to emergency numbers in Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Utah, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Florida and Canada.
Somehow 20 to 25 years doesn’t seem long enough.