Dec 17

Kansas Man Killed In ‘SWATting’ Attack

A 28-year-old Kansas man was shot and killed by police officers on the evening of Dec. 28 after someone fraudulently reported a hostage situation ongoing at his home. The false report was the latest in a dangerous hoax known as “swatting,” wherein the perpetrator falsely reports a dangerous situation at an address with the goal of prompting authorities to respond to that address with deadly force. This particular swatting reportedly originated over a $1.50 wagered match in the online game Call of Duty. Compounding the tragedy is that the man killed was an innocent party who had no part in the dispute.

The following is an analysis of what is known so far about the incident, as well as a brief interview with the alleged and self-professed perpetrator of this crime.

It appears that the dispute and subsequent taunting originated on Twitter. One of the parties to that dispute — allegedly using the Twitter handle “SWauTistic” — threatened to swat another user who goes by the nickname “7aLeNT“. @7aLeNT dared someone to swat him, but then tweeted an address that was not his own.

Swautistic responded by falsely reporting to the Kansas police a domestic dispute at the address 7aLenT posted, telling the authorities that one person had already been murdered there and that several family members were being held hostage.

Image courtesey @mattcarries

A story in the Wichita Eagle says officers responded to the 1000 block of McCormick and got into position, preparing for a hostage situation.

“A male came to the front door,” Livingston said. “As he came to the front door, one of our officers discharged his weapon.”

“Livingston didn’t say if the man, who was 28, had a weapon when he came to the door, or what caused the officer to shoot the man. Police don’t think the man fired at officers, but the incident is still under investigation, he said. The man, who has not been identified by police, died at a local hospital.

“A family member identified that man who was shot by police as Andrew Finch. One of Finch’s cousins said Finch didn’t play video games.”

Not long after that, Swautistic was back on Twitter saying he could see on television that the police had fallen for his swatting attack. When it became apparent that a man had been killed as a result of the swatting, Swautistic tweeted that he didn’t get anyone killed because he didn’t pull the trigger (see image above).

Swautistic soon changed his Twitter handle to @GoredTutor36, but KrebsOnSecurity managed to obtain several weeks’ worth of tweets from Swautistic before his account was renamed. Those tweets indicate that Swautistic is a serial swatter — meaning he has claimed responsibility for a number of other recent false reports to the police.

Among the recent hoaxes he’s taken credit for include a false report of a bomb threat at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that disrupted a high-profile public meeting on the net neutrality debate. Swautistic also has claimed responsibility for a hoax bomb threat that forced the evacuation of the Dallas Convention Center, and another bomb threat at a high school in Panama City, Fla, among others.

After tweeting about the incident extensively this afternoon, KrebsOnSecurity was contacted by someone in control of the @GoredTutor36 Twitter account. GoredTutor36 said he’s been the victim of swatting attempts himself, and that this was the reason he decided to start swatting others.

He said the thrill of it “comes from having to hide from police via net connections.” Asked about the FCC incident, @GoredTutor36 acknowledged it was his bomb threat. “Yep. Raped em,” he wrote.

“Bomb threats are more fun and cooler than swats in my opinion and I should have just stuck to that,” he wrote. “But I began making $ doing some swat requests.”

Asked whether he feels remorse about the Kansas man’s death, he responded “of course I do.”

But evidently not enough to make him turn himself in.

“I won’t disclose my identity until it happens on its own,” the user said in a long series of direct messages on Twitter. “People will eventually (most likely those who know me) tell me to turn myself in or something. I can’t do that; though I know its [sic] morally right. I’m too scared admittedly.”

Update, 7:15 p.m.: A recording of the call to 911 operators that prompted this tragedy can be heard at this link. The playback of the recorded emergency calls starts around 10 minutes into the video.

Update, Dec. 30, 8:06 a.m. ET: Police in Los Angeles reportedly have arrested 25-year-old Tyler Raj Barriss in connection with the swatting attack.


As a victim of my own swatting attack back in 2013, I’ve been horrified to watch these crimes only increase in frequency ever since — usually with little or no repercussions for the person or persons involved in setting the schemes in motion. Given that the apparent perpetrator of this crime seems eager for media attention, it seems likely he will be apprehended soon. My guess is that he is a minor and will be treated with kid gloves as a result, although I hope I’m wrong on both counts.

Let me be crystal clear on a couple of points. First off, there is no question that police officers and first responders across the country need a great deal more training to bring the number of police shootings way down. That is undoubtedly a giant contributor to the swatting epidemic.

Also, all police officers and dispatchers need to be trained on what swatting is, how to spot the signs of a hoax, and how to minimize the risk of anyone getting harmed when responding to reports about hostage situations or bomb threats. Finally, officers of the peace who are sworn to protect and serve should use deadly force only in situations where there is a clear and immediate threat. Those who jump the gun need to be held accountable as well.

But that kind of reform isn’t going to happen overnight. Meanwhile, knowingly and falsely making a police report that results in a SWAT unit or else heavily armed police response at an address is an invitation for someone to get badly hurt or killed. These are high-pressure situations and in most cases — as in this incident — the person opening the door has no idea what’s going on. Heaven protect everyone at the scene if the object of the swatting attack is someone who is already heavily armed and confused enough about the situation to shoot anything that comes near his door.

In some states, filing a false police report is just a misdemeanor and is mainly punishable by fines. However, in other jurisdictions filing a false police report is a felony, and I’m afraid it’s long past time for these false reports about dangerous situations to become a felony offense in every state. Here’s why.

If making a fraudulent report about a hostage situation or bomb threat is a felony, then if anyone dies as a result of that phony report they can legally then be charged with felony murder. Under the doctrine of felony murder, when an offender causes the death of another (regardless of intent) in the commission of a dangerous crime, he or she is guilty of murder.

Too often, however, the perpetrators of these crimes are minors, and even when they’re caught they are frequently given a slap on the wrist. Swatting needs to stop, and unfortunately as long as there are few consequences for swatting someone, it will continue to be a potentially deadly means for gaining e-fame and for settling childish and pointless ego squabbles.

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  1. Some retarded kid files a false police report saying that there’s an active shooter at a house and everyone blames the cops. No doubt police need to do more to keep these types of situations from happening but there is so many people here who really have no idea what they’re talking about. The number of police shootings of unarmed individuals has been going down steadily for years now and it is only the media frenzy making it seem different.

    • Who else are you going to blame? Seriously? Let’s sayt this was a legitimate hostage situation, and the cops just roll up and shoot the hostage. In that situation, would you not blame the cops for not identifying their targets before opening fire? Whether or not police shootings os civilians is going up or down is utterly irrelevant. In a free and democratic society, every time an agent of the government with a monopoly on violence, whether accidental or intentionally, kills a civilian, it is a problem. This is the kind of thing that happens in fucking third world dictatorships. Citizens of the worlds largest free democracy, shouldn’t be legitimately afraid of their government.

      • good point, people need to wake up

      • been on reddit lately?

      • nobody knows what happened between Finch and the pick ice officer that caused him to pull the trigger. The fault is at the hands of the Seattle. None of this would have happened if it wasn’t for him. Until we know what happened you guys have no right to blame the police officer that pulled the trigger in the situation where there was a reported murder AND hostage situation.

        • He walked outside his house and was shot by a cop with poor training and no trigger discipline.

        • “Until we know what happened you guys have no right to blame the police officer that pulled the trigger in the situation”

          That is poor thinking and part of the problem. Yes we do have a right to blame not only the police officer, but his training, his department, and the institution as a whole. If this situation happened in Western Europe, do you think this would have happened? They have different training, different ROEs, and different consequences. They are better equipped to handle the same situation.

          There was no attempt to identify the target. There was no attempt to assess the situation. What if the first out was a hostage being freed? What if the hostages were wired to explosives and the person had a deadman’s trigger? Both situations have happened in the past and in this case would have resulted in a dead hostage.

          Yes, we as society has every right to blame the police officer who shot an unarmed, blinded man within six seconds of opening a door.

        • Go look at the video on liveleak. The cop needs to get manslaughter. That could have been anyone who came to the door and the man was shot while in the act of putting his hands up as instructed. Also the officer shot alone… a single shot. All of those cops and only one saw clear and imminent.

        • First you need to work on your posting. Seattle has nothing to do with this incident.
          Second Finch did not have a gun or anything else in his hands. Clearly the police officer had nothing to fear and should not have shoot this man in front of his home. Police are paid a lot of money to use their brains first before their trigger fingers. There are too many instances were police use the excuse of ‘fear for themselves’ to resort to violence.
          Checkout the below blog that has a massive collection of video of cops using violence when their target is not being violent.

      • The police would not have been there if they didn’t receive the call.

      • > Who else are you going to blame? Seriously?

        Pretty damn simple: the parents. I don’t know about how the law works in other countries, but in The Netherlands parents are accountable for their children until a certain age. Sometimes insurance are the ones who are going to pay though. IIRC the age where the children are responsible is 13. Its going to change per country though. Same with drinking age, age of consent, etc etc. If the slap on the wrist isn’t hard enough, it needs to be increased, but I’d like to read some research that it isn’t effective. Community service is a tough cookie. Combined with one’s RL responsibilities it will take one quite some effort. Think of working 8 extra hours on Saturday on top of 9 to 5 regular.

    • Carl-Erik Kopseng

      You might not realize this, but US police forces are for the most part poorly trained across the US. I expect Kansas, a state globally known for its medieval stance on education standards, to not have a high standard.

      A small comparison: you are more than 300 times more likely to get shot by American police than English police. In Norway you need 3 years of training to become an officer of the law. In the US some states offer you a badge after six weeks of training. New York and Chicago is on the other end of the spectrum, but you still have a gun culture issue.

      Face it: you have trained an army of incompetent bullies with guns. I’m safer in the back alleys of Mogadishu than in front of US police.

      • > You are more than 300 times more likely to get shot by American police than English police.

        Attributing that to training alone only tells part of the story. The vast majority of police officers in the UK are not routinely armed, so can’t shoot anyone. The minority who can shoot people are only deployed when there is a reason to, so it’s less likely that a non-gun incident will escalate into a shooting.

        • No. In Germany, every policeman has a weapon. But while your trigger happy police shot 50 bullets into one innocent man, about 100 shots are fired in Germany in a whole year.


          And the training time here is about 2 years for low profile policeman. And for SWATs like the GSG 9 the training is way longer.

          According to wikipedia, the average training time for US police forces in police academies is 6 months.

          You have underpaid and undertrained, but highly militarized police forces in a concealed weapons society.

          That is stupid, OK?

          It‘s your country. The first step in solving a problem is recognizing there is one.

    • The only reason why swatting is dangerous is because the cops are dangerous. That’s the main problem.

      The swatter should be charged for making a false report (e.g. fine and/or prison time), but the murder is all on the cops.

      Compare with making a fake fire report. That’s only life threatening and property damaging if the firemen are so bad that when they arrive they start spraying high pressure water immediately from far away, just because they are too cowardly and incompetent to put their lives on the line to serve and protect the public and actually check the situation before blasting away.

      Your cops should not be dangerous animals that some random person on the internet can lure to injure or kill targets.

      • Bull crap, coward.

        Can an argument be made that the officer should have been more restrained? Possibly. But this piece of crap who started this initiated a situation where the police were expecting an active shooter and multiple hostages. This is a nightmare scenario for police. It is TERRIFYING for them to get involved in. Then, you have a family who have NO IDEA why the police are rolling up on them. They are confused and scared. That makes the police further confused and scared. Hell, it would make ANY HUMAN BEING confused and scared, no matter their training.

        This piece of garbage, if proven guilty, needs to get gone. He claims it wasn’t his fault? My whole ass it isn’t. He initiated this, he caused the panic, he put the scenario together. THIS IS HIS RESPONSIBILITY. This sort of behavior needs to have a SERIOUS consequence to it. And I am someone who has pulled a fair number of practical jokes in their life. But if you embark on an action, you must be willing to accept the consequences of that action. And “playing” with cops and innocent people’s lives is a recipe for disaster every time.

    • “the media frenzy” ? Come on. Get clear about this. The cop didn’t need to walk up to the door. They had all the time in the world. They have PA systems, they have a responsibility to serve and protect.

      Not rush and kill.

      I’m all for the cops. They have a hard job. But when a situation remains to be assessed, or when someone is running away on foot, you don’t shoot at the first oppty you get.

      Yes, the SWATter was deadly to blame for this. But the cop moreso.

    • yeah, why would anyone blame someone who shot an unarmed person for killing them?

  2. They need to make an example out of this little douche bag. He should face a murder charge for this and be tried as an adult.

    • Rube Goldberg's Razor

      It certainly would be fun to train that smirk off of his scrawny gamer-sissy face. Maybe things will be hard enough in lock-up so he’ll give himself a bed sheet death sentence for causing the death of a twenty-something father. But the SWAT guys have been pretty trigger happy in too many cases. A little more training could help there, too.

  3. They have to make this a federal crime with a 50 year no parole sentence if found guilty of initiating, carrying out, or giving a false address for targeting innocent victims with this hoax. This crap will stop in a heartbeat if that happens and the police will be free to go after real crimes. Both of these gamesters should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I hope they get a long, long, jail sentence. While it is horrible what happened to this man, it is also horrible for the cop to know that he killed an innocent man because of a hoax.

    • Well, that’s not really a solution either, since it would serve as a -strong- disincentive to report situations that are ambiguous, but where it’s -possible- that something violent happens behind a closed door. A policy of strong punishments for “hoaxes” would actually help perpetrators of real crimes.

      No: A real solution is to make armed response a secondary, not a primary option. This will cost training, development and maintenance of skills not abundantly present in the US police forces, but if it’s not done then the result will be an even more violent US society..

      Meanwhile: Europe is still open for business and (limited) immigration from the US. Just sayin.

  4. The perpetrator of the hoax will probably suffer severe consequences for this but not even capital punishment has deterred murders.

    What is it with our policemen and their shoot first attitude? Is it the proliferation of weapons? If so, why are so many law enforcement people pro guns?

    Sigh. I despair for America.

    Thanks Brian. The NY Times article about this (https://nyti.ms/2EigtZW) is laughably uninformative compared to your piece here. My subscription should be going to you!

    Another sigh.

    • Fear. Try carrying a weapon and staring down danger for a living and you’ll learn to be quick to pull a trigger too. If it’s them or me, it’s them every time.

    • It’s the laws pushed by public employees unions that protect police differently from other citizens.

      It’s the police policies and training that treat citizens as targets for militaristic tactics.

      It’s the laws that treat citizens as a source of wealth for the government and the police as agents of that government.

      It’s police policies and training — even the color of their uniforms — that perpetuate a mentality of Us versus Them.

      It’s the excessive laws that treat so much of voluntary, non-aggressive behavior as crimes.

      It’s the police policies and training that encourage aggression and force against citizens.

      It’s the laws that excuse police from the demands placed on other citizens for reasonable behavior, including the nonsense excuses: “furtive movements to the waistband” and “in fear of my life.”

      It’s the police policies and training that encourage police to make excuses for murdering citizens because of the same nonsense excuses.

      And it’s the laws that allow public employees unions to dictate to the citizens how they should operate and who will discipline them when they do not meet our expectations.

      • I’m a civilian who has lawfully carried a gun for more than 25 years. The double standard between police officers and lawfully armed citizens is appalling. I promise that if I had shot someone in a dangerous, high-stress situation because the person was “possibly reaching for a concealed weapon,” (as stated by one police officer’s comment here), I would be crucified. The grand jury would ask “Was there a weapon in the perpetrator’s hand? No. Was there something that could be reasonably mistaken for a weapon in the perpetrator’s hand? No. Was the perpetrator acting in a physically aggressive way? No.” As an armed civilian in that situation, the grand jury would certainly vote to proceed with criminal charges against me. A cop, though? Everyone in uniform flies to his defense because he has a high stress job (yes, he does) or because the situation was super inflamed (yes, it was) and say that the officer was justified in shooting an unarmed, non-threatening citizen.

        • And, it’s even more appalling when you consider that, as an armed citizen, I have had a fraction of the training that a law enforcement officer has had. Yet, I’m held to a far higher standard of behavior, whereas the officer is more likely to be excused for an “error” that kills a person.

  5. Brian,

    Thanks for this post. It has obviously stimulated a lot of conversation.

    I would ask you to take the bottom of Ron Micjan’s post:
    “Perhaps we could just wait until the investigation is complete, rather than speculate nonsense?”
    and ask you to take the next 3 to 6 months (or more) and follow this investigation.

  6. Shoot the kid in the head and get paid leave, oh wait that’s only if you’re a cop.


  7. I mean it’s all over the fucking news now, can’t really dox someone who’s already been doxxed.

  8. The doxxer will find out how sick society is. His nightmare will not only be prison but learning of people going after his family. The only way to protect his family will be to take his own life in hopes of appeasing the vigilantes.

  9. He’s dead, idiot

  10. This should be no different than what happens when you pull a stop sign out of the ground and some people die because they drove through it — you get charged with murder.

  11. Apparently 7aLent posted a picture of the guy on his twitter.


  12. “The number of police shootings of unarmed individuals has been going down steadily for years”

    No it hasn’t, and here’s two sources proving you’re wrong:



  13. The cops need more training?! Really. That just goes to show that geeks have issues. Cops are gatekeepers. Their training is the problem. There are two kinds of gatekeepers, namely appointed and self-appointed. Appointed gatekeepers, are usually paid and understand their role in society, which is to hinder, in small and serious ways, those with the ‘wrong’ political views. The right political view: The powerful are to be defended. The wrong political view: The powerful are to subject to laws like the rest of us. The status quo – neoliberalism and the inequality at its core – is not good.

    Gatekeepers, by worshipping power, find that they have enormous freedom in society. They can get away with crap, including murder, that others can’t – because they are with the big guy. Cop gatekeepers will even enjoy impunity for crimes that others don’t have impunity from and which they, ironically, are charged with going after for committing those crimes which they have themselves sometimes committed.

    The 1% needs this kind of protection from the people who it abuses. Standards for police and military personnel are low (which officials and their media allies can call high if they wish to). Anyone can be a sniper or cop or security guard. Gatekeepers’ role is to serve as a buffer between the abusive elites and their tools and the abused people.

    Sure, Police will show up when you call them, but not not too eagerly. Here in TO they give you a hard time on the phone. If you’re dealing with violence that’s happened, they respond better because they have no choice. I’ve called police and had them never show. I have to do that from time to time in my line of work as a security guard. But when push comes to shove, police are there for the 1% and its tools, not their victims – the people.

  14. In Europe, we only seem to meet civilised Americans. I guess that those who vote for Trump do not travel widely. The media here portrays a frightening and frightened society in the USA. The consequences of 2016 have shattered our perceptions of America. We used to respect it but now that respect is turning to fear. An abiding image is that of Ieshia Evans, a slim young black woman in a flimsy dress, very clearly unarmed, who is being confronted by two heavily armed police officers in body armor and helmets.

    I still believe that America is largely populated by decent people but the harm being done to its image and reputation is enormous and is apparently being consolidated in the White House.

    We mourn the change in the circumstances of a once reassuringly good neighbour in an increasingly dangerous world.

  15. wtf,you cry ?? dont brake law dont get invovle illegal activity and you police dont touch you -!!
    other words dont be criminal !!
    more and more criminals the more ned for police state ,and dont cry after goyms !!

    • I take it you didn’t even read the article. The person who was shot didn’t commit a crime, and was an innocent victim by tbe police. You’re just as bad as those rushing to judgment on the police being trigger happy. Educate yourself and understand that every situation deserves nuanced investigation to determine if the police were or were not liabke for the death of an innocent human being. This is what’s wrong with America….too much black or white, lack of critical thinking attitudes. We need more educated and thoughtful individuals.

      PS – believe it or not, not every police officer is an upstanding citizen, and not every person who is shot or arrested was an actual criminalm. Tip, its better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt. Think before commenting, or at least read the article.

  16. In all the press coverage of this story, I find there’s too much emphasis on the swatting and not enough on an officer apparently shooting an unarmed man.

  17. The original report from Wichita named the guy’s street name and block number (you can see this bit quoted in the story above). The video footage all over the internet has the guy’s house number. What am I leaking exactly that hasn’t already been leaked 100x over?

  18. its high tine we do something on these officers that are trigger happy,if there not fired apon first they shoukd be held for murder,they are not the judge and jury,there moto is to protect and serve.not shoot and ask question later

    • It seems you are advocating that police institute a policy of allowing criminals one free shot before defending themselves?

      • Maybe police in the US should follow the European model of “permitting deadly force only that is absolutely necessary to achieve a lawful purpose. ” Maybe it also has something to do with the training as well, instead of the average 19 weeks of training, maybe something similar to the Finish 3 years of training.

        The US police force has shown they are not capable of using their own judgment of when to use deadly force, so perhaps that judgment should be taken away. Again, refer to the Finish model of requiring a superior to approve the use of deadly force.

        • This.

          But this applies to other civilized countries as well. It amazes me that US people defend poor police training in a highly armed society and countless gun deaths every year.

          Germany: 2 1/2 years of training for a normal police officer and way longer for SWATs like the GSG 9.

          • Yes, we know. Because you’ve left this same comment on this story three times now. Please stop. Thanks.

            • OK, sorry. But it just amazes me that americans defend this behaviour.

              Shooting fleeing suspects in the back. Killing innocents that try to comply to orders. Stupid, impossible to follow orders as an excuse to shoot someone. Shooting sobbing people just sitting there. Shooting a disabled boy wielding a truck.

              And every time many people seem to defend those actions. And when foreigners point out that we do not have this problems they still try to defend their police.

              Sorry again for the multiple posts.

  19. What a waste. Lying to the police. Wasting fuel and time and now someones dead. It makes it harder for the police to respond to the real 911 calls. I grew up in Africa. You never made calls to cops unless you were in real danger and most of the time their response time was not good anyway. I appreciate the work the police generally do in this country. Coming from a difficult background I find the society here is “spoilt”. Where I come from you just don’t do that.

  20. Just amazed how fast as usual people seem to know the whole facts and who was to blame. Brian’s story was informative as usual and clearly the Swatter was in part to blame and I agree that that appears to need to be made a felony. But as to what happened on the doorstep it’s too early so appoint blame. I feel sorry for the family and friends of the victim and of the policeman who has now to live with the fact he shot an innocent man. Most people, including police, would find that difficult.

  21. This thing is messed up on many levels and obviously requires a full investigation. That being said it is too early to, borrowing your words here, “jump the gun” and insinuate that the officers reacted inappropriately. The young man who died didn’t know what was going on but neither did the police. If you had been following events lately there have been a rash of incidents where police are called to a location only to be fired upon when arriving. It would have been proper to include that in your analysis as well.

  22. Anyone who has been on a game that is played on line can attest to the absolute hate and directed rage from some gamer’s, they can and will literally say anything to you, slander your family threaten your life.
    The Grandson’s play and other gamer’s who feel they are doing it wrong or got the better of them scream invective’s on line at them until they both simply turned the game off or turned comments and blocked their email accounts to prevent such.
    There are a lot of pure evil and pure crazies out there who hide behind the game and monitor to simply abuse people.
    Never directly converse with anyone on line about a simple game you play.

  23. This is a tragedy. I hope and pray that the family of the slain man can find healing.

    While we don’t know the details I think we all agree that the person who swatted is guilty of a serious crime. We also agree that people who are simply at home going about normal affairs (which I am assuming the victim was doing) should not be shot by police.

    Many of the comments are accusatory, stating the police are trigger happy, or defensive, stating that the police have a difficult job. Others have pointed out the need for more training, which in our opinion is going to be more likely to reduce such errors then accusing officers of ill intent or justifying their behavior.

    Full disclosure: I am part of a team that trains law enforcement officers to reduce use of force errors.


    Our hypothesis is that the physiology of the officer in a potentially dangerous situation is a major factor in causing the officer to shoot in error. This contrasts with the hypothesis that the officer suffers from dysfunctional personality traits. In support of our hypothesis, our data indicate that when the officers are trained to change their physiology in high intensity situations then they make significantly fewer use of force errors, in some cases 60-70% fewer. We are currently investigating the mechanisms by which this change in physiology might have such a dramatic effect. Interestingly, it appears that the training enables the officers to simultaneously activate their parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. This may be one of the factors that enables them to be sufficiently activated in a dangerous situation and also maintain the ability to perceive more accurately and inhibit incorrect use of force actions.

    • No matter what “physiologist of the officer,” that heart of the matter is that state, local, and county police do not face consequences of their actions. Programs to train for sitautal awareness in a crisis do work. At their heart is the dual motivation of doing what is right and the consequences for mistakes.

      While the scatter will be tracked down and prosecuted, it must be remembered that this was not a “swatting murder.” This is the state of policing in the US. Throw out accountability to the US Constitution. Today, if you wear a local or state law enforcement badges, there is no consequence for killing. Just shout “I think they have a gun” and shoot. “Act first and say you are afraid for your life” and shoot. Watch, there will be no consequences for the officers involved. “Suspended” is part of the investigative process. In the end, a judge will say the “officers actions were justified.” The people who did the swatting will get blamed and prosecuted. The people part of the system that kills before getting a full situational awareness before acting will never want to take responsibility or be held accountable.

    • The state of their health and minds do not change the fact that the laws and their training are wrongfully permissive of police violence against their fellow citizens.

      It’s not about how well police adhere to their training, when it is their training and laws that encourage and permit police to act in ways that are dangerous.

  24. The nation’s CallerID infrastructure terribly outdated. It should not be so easy to spoof. The 911 operators and police might have responded to the call differently if they knew that the call was coming in from an Internet source. They would still need to respond, but would have some advance knowledge that the call has some signature of being a hoax. An added bonus is that if CallerID was improved, it would help mitigate the epidemic of spam robocalls from telemarketers and wide-net debt collectors (both with fairly effective lobbyists). A simple enhancement could be for each phone company to be required to provide some metadata as to the source that can help a consumer decide whether to take or block a call such as whether the call comes from a landline, cell, internet, and the name of the service provider that handed the call off to them.

    We could also bolster criminal laws that would make intentional hacking to support the execution of a felony a separate higher offense, in much the same ways as firearms and “burglar tools” laws work.

    • BTW, Gizmodo had an article yesterday about a recent FTC report on the explosion of robocalls in 2017 and VoIP ‘s roll in enabling spoofing of CallerID.


      “The memo mentions advancements in Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) that allows telemarketers to call more people for lower costs. New software also makes it easier for companies to falsify call ID information, making it difficult for agencies or law enforcement to locate callers and making it easier to convince you that you are receiving a call from someone you know. This year, the FTC noticed an increase in reports about spoofed numbers from the same area code as the targeted party.”

    • This tragedy was not initiated by a spoofed caller ID. It was initiated by a liar calling an idiot in “city hall security” who then arranged for Wichita police to call the liar.

      The entire emergency recording is online.

      The police, instead of being skeptical, approached an innocent home, murdering the first person to open the door.

      There’s much to fault here. Caller ID is not one of them.

  25. Horrible crime. My sympathies to the family. Also, sympathies to the cop who now has to live with the outcome.

    This swatter should rot in hell.

    Yes. Cops could be better trained.

    Something else we overlook. This all happens because many things work together or don’t work to make this happen.

    Yes it should absolutely be a felony. And yes you can put safeguards in laws to limit over application.

    And maybe we could fix some of the broken telephone tech that lets this happen. You know all those annoying calls you get from scams and such. Well, and here’s the hint, if the cops and 911 can’t tell a call is coming from out of state then the average joe has no chance. Think of the implications of that. Maybe we can do something about that. A small start.

    • david in toronto

      I should amend my earlier statement to reflect that both the swatter and swat-baiter should both rot in hell.

  26. Here let me correct that headline for you. “Kansas man killed by incompetent, trigger happy cops who have no idea how to verify information and have no idea how to handle a suspect they outnumber 40 to 1”. More accurate. The “swatting” didn’t kill him, cowardly police jumping at their shadows did.

  27. It’s pretty messed up when the police can’t tell if a call is a hoax or not, and when police shoot unarmed victims. The cops don’t care. They probably won’t face any charges anyways. Of course the swatter probably will, but the cops always get off free, and there will be hundreds of swatters to take his place. Hopefully this will produce enough public outcry to cause serious changes in both the police and SS7, but I doubt it