Tyler Barris Swatting Wichita Man Killed Call of Duty
courtesy dotesports.com and KSN News

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 a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following 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.

68 COMMENTS

      • What and who are you talking about?

        This whole thing has nothing to do with ‘Southerners’.

        Is this just your stupidity showing?

      • I just checked again with the U.S. map, and neither Los Angeles nor Wichita are located in any part of what is colloquially known as “The South”.

        …Or were you just giving us a friendly heads-up as to your own chin-size and mental capacity? Because if so, I think our neighbors to the North, East and West are also due an apology.

      • The smartest and wisest man I ever met was from the South. He talked slow, but frankly, that was a good thing since most mortals would not be able to keep up if he had talked any faster. Even though he could talk physics and chemistry at the upper graduate level, the part that amused me is that he knew what every classmate drove – make, model, year, and engine. So, for us Northerners, which of us will throw the first stone. 🙂

  1. Aaaaaaand not one person who shot was charged at all???? I don’t see how anyone can justify this shooting at any level…

    • Yeah… I’m rather displeased that most people have ignored the reality that this entire station wouldn’t have gotten to this point if the SWAT team hadn’t opened fire before assessing the situation better.

      • +1… There has to be more immediately verifiable information (Alabama v White) for an anonymous tip to justify an arrest or further intrusion. Going high order on a vague anonymous call is not sufficient (Johnson v Texas)

        SCOTUS says, “A mere anonymous tip, standing alone, does not constitute probable cause…An anonymous telephone call may justify the initiation of an investigation, but the court has held that, alone, it will rarely establish the level of suspicion to justify a detention…The corroboration of the details which do not indicate criminal activity will not lend support to the anonymous tip…Reasonable suspicion requires it [the anonymous tip] be reliable in its assertion of illegality, not just in its tendency to identify a determinate person…When more information is available, [that may be corroborated before the stop] however, a police officer may reasonably conclude the tip is reliable, thus justifying an investigatory detention.” 

        Horse on that cop who pulled the trigger.

        • The cops who pulled the trigger and those who protect him after need more than horse on them. They all need serious prison time, loss of all pensions, etc. They did not ID any weapon or deadly force attempt to use a weapon against them. The “a move that looked like a possible draw stroke” stupid should never wash. You need to see and ID a weapon before one can shoot another person period. I spend a lot of time training in a shoot house and our instructor is very clear on this point. You must ID the weapon/threat before you point your rifle at them, take the safety off, and engage.

        • WRONG! Police are NOT the law abiding, peace officers they were 50 years ago. They are the “brown shirt” henchmen for city, state, or federal government. Yeah there are a few good ones, but that majority could care less whether they are violating your constitutional rights or not. They don’t care because they are NOT held to the same or higher standards that they should be. There is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON for ANY law enforcement force to descend on a house because of an anonymous tip! If you in any way believe that these cops/SWAT were justified in their actions then you obviously don’t support the Constitution or America.

    • I think only one cop shot and he shot once with his AR-15. The other cops close to the innocent man didn’t notice the same threat to them that one law enforcement officer behind a car across the street did.

      I guess if you think someone is reaching, you are 20-50m away and behind cover you are in immediate danger from a handgun. That doesn’t qualify as manslaughter when you are a cop. Just some more training is necessary.

    • One person shot. The fact that many others did not shoot leads us to believe that the shooting was not according to policy, and should not be covered under qualified immunity.

  2. It’s one thing for a kid who assaults, mugs, robs to go to prison. That kid already has a good idea of what to expect on the inside. But, man, people like this swatting a-hole here, this is the rudest awakening for his kind of punk ass if he thinks he’s going to get by with his online gaming attitude.

  3. The “specially trained” SWAT team bears responsibility as well…
    As usual the police department is “off the hook”. If an ordinary civilian had done the same as the police, the charge would be murder.
    Letting the police off easy is also a crime in itself…

      • I would expect that after 20 years in the tank, a former SWAT team member would never offend again. Only way to accomplish that end with absolute batshit crazy mofo is to hang him, shoot him several times, dismember him and then cremate him. I mean, a fucking VIDEO GAME???

  4. “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.”

    Sixteen states and Canada. Yet, no government agency was able to detect, identify and arrest this culprit. And, because he was not stopped early in the perpetuation of his dangerous “game”, a man is dead. At the hands of a cop.

    We hope that government will do its best – at least do what it can – to keep us safe. This seems to be a quintessential example of how powerless government proves itself to be in this responsibility. Moreover, it also seems to show that the tactics and training it gives its police are not enough to keep us safe. Or, maybe its the screening it uses to select its finest.

    My take-away is that we can only rely upon ourselves – as individuals – to keep ourselves safe. The victim in this case didn’t choose the right tactics in responding to the police at his door. I’m not victim-blaming here. He had every right to do whatever he wanted to do in his home. And, yet, apparently we now have to defend ourselves against our own police while in our own homes!

    We have to learn new practices – e.g., keeping our hands on the steering wheel during a traffic stop – to avoid being mistaken as a threat.

    Many readers will object. They will say – with ample justification – that we the People must demand that our governments enforce proper discipline upon the police. In principle, they are right. In practice, that’s not enough. And it is the entire history of the 2A that teaches us why it is not enough.

    We are on our own.

    • “We have to learn new practices…”

      Yeah, like not opening the door until you know who is on the other side of it. Or better yet tell your friends and family to call or text before they come over and not respond to random door knocking at all.

      • I don’t respond to random door knocks already. I check my security camera aimed at my porch and if necessary also the one that points down the driveway.

    • @Mark

      I wonder what he told the operator.

      I wonder if, with each of those other calls that didn’t get the result he wanted, he was “practicing” and trying different things to say, getting closer and closer to the words he needed in order to get the most devastating result possible, until he hit the jackpot.

      Practice makes perfect.

      • I live in Wichita, and this was a big deal (obviously) at the time. He told the operators that someone in the house had killed a couple of people already and was holding hostages. The whole situation stank, as the house that he described didn’t meet the description of the address they rolled up on, and his overall communication of the situation was inconsistent. Also our local PD has been great the past few years in being more responsible and active in the community (which has received positive national attention in the news), and then it’s ruined by this incident. I’ve seen the body cam footage as well. They had absolutely no reason to shoot the guy, buy as others have noted there are no consequences.

  5. Is this really punishment? I was under the impression that gamers like him have no life anyway, so spending a few decades in prison might work out just fine – as long as he has access to a computer or Xbox….

    • Not really. There’s a ton of misconceptions about prison due to media reports on federal ones and county jails. Actual real state prison is a real mother fucker, even in California. He doesn’t look like he can fight very well so he’ll just have to learn to put his ass in the air.

  6. Prisoners get game time just like TV; he may get 3 squares, a cot, and free video games for the next 25 years. Hope the judge specified that this dirtbag cannot be near a console to make jail real punishment.

  7. So he used a (national or regional 911system) that used government officers against an innocent citizen and the end result was murder ? And people want you to give up you weapons what if this man could have defended himself and if the man tried and thought his home was being violated he was only standing up for his constitutional rights

  8. We really need to work on assessing situations better. If it was a kidnapping and what not in progress, shouldn’t they have asked for his information, where he was, how he knew, etc?

    With all of the tech, surveillance already in place and available to LE, how could they not figure this out without killing someone?

    • I think they would have to charge the cop with murder to charge him with murder too. As if they were working together for this particular outcome. Since they consider the cop completely not responsible for pulling the trigger…

  9. There is a massive disconnect here. If there is a school shooting or mass shooting at any public location, SWAT takes their sweet time to enter. Staying back to survey the situation for several hous as people die. But when it is a reported shooting at a residence, SWAT pretty much barges right in blind and guns blazing, shoot first, ask questions later mentality. When they screw up, it is just opps, sorry, not our fault. As other poster pointed out, there appears to be a huge lack in discipline. If soldiers barged into a house and killed an innocent person in another country, they would be in deep ****, regardless if it was based on bad intel.

    • Yikes… I’m glad I don’t live in your world. You watch the news too much. Stuff only gets reported when it goes south. 1000’s of anonymous tips (999 of which are crap) get called in to 911 every day. Only one gets reported in the news because one pants s**ting trigger happy idiot cop smokes a poor dude on his porch.

      As for the school/active shooter thing… waiting hasn’t been a policy since 1998. Only time the cops don’t storm active shooter scenes, is when there are other factors (burning building, chemical weapons are used, bombs/explosive hazards, chained/locked doors like at VT, etc), and/or the cops are cowards and don’t go in. Even in a screwed up department like Broward County Sheriff’s Office, that deputy was immediately and disgracefully drummed out of the department.

      • Didn’t SWAT also delay entering the gay nightclub shooting in Orlando, maybe it is just a Fl thing? There have also been several cases where SWAT has raided the wrong address or did stupid things like toss flashbangs into cribs. Besides a serious lack of discipline, there seems to be a lack of checking intel for inaccuricies. Again, in the militay, if a SEAL team raids the wrong building, heads would roll. With SWAT, mistakes are never our fault.

        • Pulse night club thing was delayed because they got some info from someone somewhere that the terrorist was strapped with explosives. Yes, I have heard of that SWAT team who hit that one house that one time when it was a bad address. For the 10’s of thousands of warrants served everyday in the U.S., some cop somewhere at sometime will screw up. Who ever that cop is, his/her head needs to roll. In one of those screw ups the poor resident also shot at the SWAT team, which was ruled a good shoot, and he successfully sued the agency. I also heard of that one time somewhere when that one SWAT guy threw a flash bang in to a baby crib.
          That one incident changed how EVERY BODY (including the military) uses flashbangs …. I’ve also heard of the millions of times none of these things ever happened.

          Your conclusions seem to hinge on what the vast majority of this group (cops) AREN’T doing on a regular basis…. Its the same logic that says: AR-15’s were used in mass shootings at Sandy Hook, Las Vegas, the Texas church massacre, etc., therefore all AR-15’s are bad and all AR-15 owners are evil. While simultaneously ignoring that 14,999,997 AR-15’s weren’t used in mass shootings.

          We have a population of 370,000,000 with 500,000,000 guns and 16 trillion rounds of ammo. There are about 750,000 law enforcement types (which includes A LOT of ticket punchers, admin cops, desk pushers, tax collectors, computer jockeys, etc)…. if there is ever a massive public upheaval against the oppressive, universally incompetent, monolithic law enforcement apparatus (as you seemingly frame all cops), then the police would last about 15 minutes before they were all slaughtered.

  10. Man killed in Wichita for calling another man a S.O.B.-1897- “The Wichita Eagle reported the sheriff said,” I reckon he had it commin.”

  11. If the jackboots continue to carry out these raids then dumbasses will still call in the hits. More freedom for the American citizen is the answer not less.

  12. Going to prison for 25 years or so is EXACTLY where that psycho needs to be. Something is seriously wrong with him. Let some Gumermint shrink figure it out.

  13. 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…..and they still did not lock him up. Amazing.

  14. So what will happen to the dipshit cop that shot a clearly unarmed man to death on his own front porch? Anyone? Anyone?

  15. Let’s not be too hard on the cops. After all, what’s the point of having a badge and a gun if you can’t murder somebody now and then and get away with it?

  16. In possession of phones, violence-training games, and the impulse toward brutal competition, millions keyboard jockeying dude-bros never swatted anyone, for years.

    Ban the games; er competition; re phones. (Sorry, I forgot language. Ban All The Things.)

    Or maybe it was the guy.

    • the swat team wasn’t forced to blindly barge in without investigating first.

      they murdered an innocent person based on an anonymous phone call.

  17. why is it legal for swat teams to barge in and shoot citizens of the united states based on an anonymous phone call? from another state?

    it’s outrageous.

    it’s like something that oppressive dictatorships would do. we need to fix ourselves.

    first good step would be to have protocols, which if violated, remove all immunity for the cops involved.

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