January 15, 2018

Tyler Raj Barriss, a 25-year-old serial “swatter” whose phony emergency call to Kansas police last month triggered a fatal shooting, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter and faces up to eleven years in prison.

Tyler Raj Barriss, in an undated selfie.

Barriss’s online alias — “SWAuTistic” — is a nod to a dangerous hoax known as “swatting,” in which the perpetrator spoofs a call about a hostage situation or other violent crime in progress in the hopes of tricking police into responding at a particular address with potentially deadly force.

Barriss was arrested in Los Angeles this month for alerting authorities in Kansas to a fake hostage situation at an address in Wichita, Kansas on Dec. 28, 2017.

Police responding to the alert surrounded the home at the address Barriss provided and shot 28-year old Andrew Finch as he emerged from the doorway of his mother’s home. Finch, a father of two, was unarmed, and died shortly after being shot by police.

The officer who fired the shot that killed Finch has been identified as a seven-year veteran with the Wichita department. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

Following his arrest, Barriss was extradited to a Wichita jail, where he had his first court appearance via video on FridayThe Los Angeles Times reports that Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and could face up to 11 years and three months in prison if convicted.

The moment that police in Kansas fired a single shot that killed Andrew Finch (in doorway of his mother’s home).

Barriss also was charged with making a false alarm — a felony offense in Kansas. His bond was set at $500,000.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told the The LA Times Barriss made the fake emergency call at the urging of several other individuals, and that authorities have identified other “potential suspects” that may also face criminal charges.

Barriss sought an interview with KrebsOnSecurity on Dec. 29, just hours after his hoax turned tragic. In that interview, Barriss said he routinely called in bomb threats and fake hostage situations across the country in exchange for money, and that he began doing it after his own home was swatted.

Barriss told KrebsOnSecurity that he felt bad about the incident, but that it wasn’t he who pulled the trigger. He also enthused about the rush that he got from evading police.

“Bomb threats are more fun and cooler than swats in my opinion and I should have just stuck to that,” he wrote in an instant message conversation with this author.

In a jailhouse interview Friday with local Wichita news station KWCH, Barriss said he feels “a little remorse for what happened.”

“I never intended for anyone to get shot and killed,” he reportedly told the news station. “I don’t think during any attempted swatting anyone’s intentions are for someone to get shot and killed.”

The Wichita Eagle reports that Barriss also has been charged in Calgary, Canada with public mischief, fraud and mischief for allegedly making a similar swatting call to authorities there. However, no one was hurt or killed in that incident.

Barriss was convicted in 2016 for calling in a bomb threat to an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles. He was sentenced to two years in prison for that stunt, but was released in January 2017.

Using his SWAuTistic alias, Barriss claimed credit for more than a hundred fake calls to authorities across the nation. In an exclusive story published here on Jan. 2, KrebsOnSecurity dissected several months’ worth of tweets from SWAuTistic’s account before those messages were deleted. In those tweets, SWAuTistic claimed responsibility for calling in bogus hostage situations and bomb threats at roughly 100 schools and at least 10 residences.

In his public tweets, SWAuTistic claimed credit for bomb threats against a convention center in Dallas and a high school in Florida, as well as an incident that disrupted a much-watched meeting at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in November.

But in private online messages shared by his online friends and acquaintances SWAuTistic can be seen bragging about his escapades, claiming to have called in fake emergencies at approximately 100 schools and 10 homes.

The serial swatter known as “SWAuTistic” claimed in private conversations to have carried out swattings or bomb threats against 100 schools and 10 homes.

83 thoughts on “Serial SWATter Tyler “SWAuTistic” Barriss Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter

  1. Bill

    “I don’t think during any attempted swatting anyone’s intentions are for someone to get shot and killed.”

    He should have let someone else do the thinking. He needs to get the maximum amount of prison time he’s eligible for considering he has a criminal background doing similar pranks. He’s also going to be paying every dime he ever makes once the victim’s family gets done with him.

    1. cc

      Even if the victim’s family files wrongful death charges and wins the award may be dischargeable in bankrupcy if the jury doesn’t find Barriss caused ” willful and malicious injury”.

      Because the crime charged is involuntary manslaughter, which can be “reckless” killing, a wrongful death award may not meet the willful requirement.

      Not a criminal attorney – just my personal guess.

    2. JCitizen

      He did time for doing bomb threats, this piece of detritus needs to be taken OFF the street for the maximum amount of time! I’m glad they are also hunting down the other dogs that are involved in this travesty!!

  2. Chris Nielsen

    “…claiming to have called in fake emergencies at approximately 100 schools and 10 homes.”

    We really need better technology to track phone calls and email when they are being used for crime. Criminals with tech are running roughshod over the people and I think the people are getting tired of our freedom being used against us.

    1. William Chambers

      Be careful what you wish for. We already have a surveillance dragnet thanks to the War on Terror and we’ve seen just how poor the oversight really is. There’s no reason such a system wouldn’t be used against anyone committing thought crimes.

      1. SeymourB

        Yes, thought crimes, like swatting people using fake caller id information.

        Beefing up the caller id system to prevent abuse like this isn’t going to cause people to get prosecuted for thought crimes, but it will cause people to get prosecuted for actual crimes.

        1. Anonymous Coward

          What leads you to believe that beefing up the Caller ID system is possible, not necessary from a technical standpoint but from a policy and implementation standpoint. Today, the system already appears to be incapable of handling telemarketers who abuse it to falsify the telephone exchange from which their call originates. Or haven’t you noticed the excessive number of solicitations that now appear to originate from the same exchange as your number?

  3. Ken Martin

    He should get the max sentence. No early release. Afterwards, if a naturalised US citizen, have this revoked and the delinquent sent back to Asia. No place in US for his ilk.

    1. mister easy

      We made a known fraud our President. Where else?

      Tyler was born here, despite his other shortcomings.

      You don’t need to go full racist retard to hold someone accountable.

      Try again.

    2. meh

      Yeah especially since he’s already been convicted of something pretty similar and obviously didn’t learn his lesson.

    3. bob

      If he’s an immigrant then the USA is entirely built on his “ilk”.

      If he’s not an immigrant, and I didn’t see where it said he was, then you’re an out-and-out racist.

      “Sent back to Asia”? “Asia”? What?

        1. Prison Jumpsuit POTUS

          Fergus if you’re too racist to make empirical sense please do us all a favor and die horribly, but do it offline because nobody cares how.


        2. Moriah

          And you are acting like a racist troll.

          Why do you assume he’s an immigrant at all? Just because he’s not a redhead like me? Because he doesn’t have freckles? For a long time, those features would have suggested that I was an immigrant.

          Did you hear anything in his voice to suggest a foreign accent? Nope, I didn’t.

          So where are you getting this notion that he’s an immigrant? Unless you provide a link to evidence, you’re just spewing bigoted misinformation.

  4. ralph l. seifer

    When I read about this case, it seemed clear to me that if I analogized the facts with California law, this was certainly a case of second degree murder, and not a question of manslaughter, either voluntary m/s or involuntary m/s.

    I believe California law could be legitimately applied here, whether the case was filed in California, or in Kansas.

    The pivotal issue in this tragic tale is whether the shooting by the Kansas cop was foreseeable or not. If it was foreseeable, it does not break the chain of events that the idiot caller set in motion.

    If the shooting was unforeseeable, it does break the chain of events, and the defendant’s liability is much reduced.

    I’m a retired deputy public defender from Los Angeles County.

    In my opinion, the shooting was entirely foreseeable, and the caller to the Kansas cops should be charged with Second Degree Homicide. The filing of involuntary manslaughter is nothing less than a gift to this idiot, and if I were in Kansas representing him, I would be strenuously thinking about leaning on my client to plead straight up before the DA decides to amend the complaint and bump up the charge.

    1. Reader

      Death is only foreseeable if a reasonable person were to think police are mindless weapons of mayhem and murder.

      Reasonable people don’t expect police to hurt or kill innocent people. That’s why it’s disturbing that a hoax resulted in the murder of an innocent father of two by an unhinged cop.

      We expect better of police, because they’re not supposed to be like wild animals or unpinned grenades.

      When you say the caller could foresee that a cop would shoot a man at home to death from over 50 feet away, you’re either wrong or indicting all police.

      1. rayy

        Certainly, a reasonable person would understand that that’s a possible outcome, when you are calling out a SWAT team.

      2. James

        I would argue that given the number of killings by police in America that a reasonable person would in fact assume there’s an unacceptable risk of getting someone killed this way.

        1. Mahhn

          If a police ever point their gun at me (I’m a tech, but a big ugly guy) I will say “Please tell my family I love them” as I put my hands behind my head and kneel, just incase.
          Because this is the age of fear, and I’m worried about the officer having unreasonable fear out of being conditioned to be that way.

        2. Just the facts

          For what it’s worth, 1,129 folks were killed by police in 2017 in America. Of that number, 13% of the killed people were unarmed.

          Given all the police and public interactions that occur in a country of 350 million, I think it’s extremely unreasonable to expect to be killed by cops. If I’m waving guns while committing crimes, then my chances of that happening certainly go up. Perhaps that’s why you think you’re going to be killed by the police.

      3. David

        You would possibly be right if the police were called out for a noise complaint. However the police were called on a hostage situation with an active shooter.

        1. randomGuy

          There is a problem here, though. IIRC, due to his location not being local, he didn’t call 911 because that would have not worked. So, he called this “hostage” situation into some other number local to the address (maybe city hall or something similar). This should have been a red flag for the police right off the bat.

          Tl;dr: the kid didn’t call 911. The police should have assumed that there is a higher-than-normal likelihood that this was a hoax.

      4. Replyer

        a naive person thinks cops aren’t going to hurt or kill people. I don’t trust anyone who walks around with a gun and body armor.

    2. Quid_est_veritas


      Since there were two states involved and the swatter used the US telecommunications system across state lines in conjunction with the crime, where (in which state) did the crime take place? The defending counsel would argue that it took place in the more lenient jurisdiction and the prosecutor the opposite. What about federal law? As I understand, murder is a state crime for the most part, but there are almost certainly interstate crimes involved in the Kansas shooting.

      1. ralph l. seifer

        The California court could have filed the case, but the majority of the incident occurred in Kansas, and most (or all) of the witnesses are in Kansas.

        It would be an immense expense for the California court to get witnesses transported here, perhaps several times owing to continuances, etc., and it was really a question of expedience in having the case filed in Kansas.

        It is unlikely there is substantial difference between the Penal Code and Evidence Code of the two states, and a trial in Kansas would look much the same as a trial in California.

        I cannot speak to sentencing, which may differ between the states. I’ve been retired for several years, but California used to sentence voluntary manslaughter for six years (what is called “mid-base” term) or five years on low base, or 11 years on high base. I am not at all conversant with Kansas’s sentencing scheme for manslaughter.

    3. kevin

      I must say that if the shooting of an unarmed subject was foreseeable, then the jurisdiction which employed the law enforcement officer should be held responsible (in addition to the LEO himself, of course). The presumption that law enforcement is permitted to shoot people recklessly without consequence is a new (i.e., post 9/11) and deeply troubling change in this country. In a democracy, a badge cannot be a get-out-of-jail-free card.

  5. Jake

    Barriss is clearly at fault for his part in this. However I don’t understand how the blame falls squarely on him for this man’s death. Is the crime of manslaughter the act of calling police? Simply because we should know that the police might kill someone when they arrive?

    The officer killed someone in the normal course of doing their job. And yet it is the idiot who called them there to do their job who is solely to blame. I agree that Barriss shoulders the blame for the situation even happening but it is unfortunate that we accept that calling the police on someone puts that person in mortal danger even if they are innocent.

    1. Berend de Boer

      Killing is part of your job as policeman? Their normal job? But you seem to be on to something.

      “A Philadelphia police officer has shot and killed an unarmed man who was sitting on a sidewalk.” http://reason.com/blog/2018/01/03/philly-cop-fatally-shoots-unarmed-man-si

      “A two-hour search for and chase of a woman accused of stealing a car from a man she knew ended in front of a trailer home police say she was trying to break into. Sheriff’s deputies fired an undetermined number of times at her, hitting her as well as 6-year-old Kameron Prescott, who was in the home.” http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/22/texas-cops-shoot-and-kill-6-year-old-whi

      “Arizona jurors watched the video below, which shows former Mesa, Arizona, police officer Philip Mitchell Brailsford shooting and killing a man who was begging for his life and attempting to follow the officer’s orders to crawl down a hotel hallway.” http://reason.com/blog/2017/12/08/arizona-cop-acquitted-for-killing-man-cr

      Just doing my job Ma’am.

      1. Quid_est_veritas


        Believe it or not, the news reports are not always 100% accurate or complete.

        Did you see the video of the Arizona police officer?

        Unlike the Wichita, KS shooting where the victim was almost certainly unable to discern what was happening when he answered the door, the man that was shot in the hallway at apparently <20 ft/7m violated a direct order of the officer by apparently trying to pull up his pants when crawling forward, i.e. was reaching to his waist, a common place to keep a weapon.

        In the Kansas shooting the officers should have realized the house was not as described to the dispatcher, i.e. 2 story versus 1 story. The cops almost certainly had scopes on their rifles. If so, they would have seen that the man answering the door had no rifle and if he did have a handgun, that the likelihood of him being able to hit them while behind their vehicles and while the "shooter" was being blinded by floodlights was slim and none. The officer that pulled the trigger will also have his life destroyed for this mistake, even if not convicted of a crime.

        1. Spanky

          It’s completely bizarre to think that if a police officer shows up and points a gun at you, a slight error in the Simon Says game in this stressful situation warrants your death. We expect civilians to display immense calm while having a weapon in their face at all times of day or night, on the streets or in their own homes, while the trained police officer is allowed to act like a panicked amateur, firing at the first opportunity.

          1. Dfg


            Yes, cops have to take the risk to die if they’re not sure the guy in front of them are about to use their weapon on them or if shooting may not be safe for other people around. That’s actually their job.

            Instead, they don’t want to take the slightest risk, so as soon as they fear something might happen to them, they shoot. Unfortunately, in the dark, everything is a risk.

        2. Barry

          “violated a direct order of the officer by apparently trying to pull up his pants when crawling forward, i.e. was reaching to his waist, a common place to keep a weapon….”

          Passing by on the Judge Creed “violated a direct order” rhetoric, the point here is that cops should pull the trigger if they see the hand coming back from the waistband with a gun, not on the mere suspicion of why the innocent citizen might be reaching there. They have ample lead time, they’re aimed and ready.

    2. Reader


      To claim that calling police is likely to result in injury or death is to say that police are as dangerous as a grenade or a large rabid animal set loose in a crowd. Such a claim removes the responsibility of police for their own actions and literally renders them into monsters. THAT is why charging the caller with death is asinine.

      The caller, Barriss, is clearly ripe for a charge of calling in a hoax, theft of municipal services by fraud, attempted harassment (of the addressee), endangerment (of police rushing to assist), disturbing the peace, and general idiocy.

      But to claim he recklessly and involuntarily caused an innocent mam to die is to reduce police to uncontrollable weapons or animals. That’s an insult to police, in general, and clearly false on its face.

      The one who deserves the homicide charge is the idiot who shot the victim. That cowardly cop deserves to have the book thrown at him for murdering a man from over 50 feet away.

      Also, I’ll predict Barriss will either plead guilty or succeed in having the Kansas charges dismissed on jurisdiction. This should have been a federal case. The only crime that occurred in Kansas was the murder of a innocent man by a Kansas police officer.

      1. Reader2

        Except when you call police and tell them that it is a hostage situation and that the hostage taker is armed, you are setting up a highly potential fatal situation.

        1. Kent Brockman

          And how many hostage takers come (unarmed no less) to the front door? Could as easily have been a potential hostage being sent out there. The cop in question is guilty of manslaughter at a minimum.

      2. Reader2

        when you tell the police that it is a hostage situation and that the hostage taker is armed, you are setting it up for a fatal situation.

      3. Kent Brockman

        Couldn’t agree more. Too many cops acting like they’re in a war zone.

        1. mister easy

          “Too many cops acting like they’re in a war zone.”

          A hostage situation is a tactical war-like environment.

          They have to take it seriously.

          Now if they showed up to every call as if it were a hostage situation, you’d have more of a point – and in fact I think that’s what you’re getting at, that they’re generally too militaristic overall and in situations that don’t require it per se- but when they DO get a call denoting an ACTUAL HOSTAGE SITUATION, they have a certain procedure that they follow to try to prevent people from getting killed – cops included.

          Unfortunately there’s no simple solution. There are more guns than people in America and so the rate at which people will abuse them is going to remain higher than average. This has consequences for law enforcement and the public alike, and the problem will still continue to exist even if they do manage to lock down the 911 system.

  6. Berend de Boer

    Has the police officer already been charged who just killed somebody on the spot for no good reason?

    Because that’s the real killer. And that’s why people SWAT, because they know state funded killers will come and shoot randomly. Over and over again.

      1. Noonebody

        NO, SWATing should be charged as attempted murder, everybody can see this that the one who made the call is the one of the two responsible.

        Because the second and as much responsible is the one who pulls the trigger, a PIG who instead of the police which he embarasses, should be in prison for life too,he is a trained killer and nothing else, braindead.

      2. a

        He’s not claiming that swatting is justified for any reason. It seems you are misunderstanding the comment.

    1. Cory

      Over and over again? This guy swatted 100 times, never got anyone killed before, and admits he never expect to get anyone killed. The fact that law enforcement doesn’t shoot indiscriminately every time they respond to a swatting call is going to be the best defense this idiot has against the manslaughter charge.

      1. Berend de Boer

        The killed person opened the door and got shot. Watch the video, it took 10 seconds. By your supposedly expert guy. I have seen no information he has done the 100 raids as you claim, but if even experts are prone to kill people opening the front door, it just makes my point for me doesn’t it?

        1. Cory

          So a guy calls the cops, says he’s (for example) the brother of a woman married to an unstable, violent man. And that moments ago, she texted that this violent man has her and the kids trapped in the bedroom, is heavily armed, has shot her father, and is threatening to murder everyone in the house and shoot anyone he sees on sight. So the police are obligated to respond to that, and one time out of dozens, the (innocent, swatted) guy comes to the door, is startled, and makes a move that reads as aggressive or threatening. It’s a justifiable shooting by the responding law enforcement officers, and in my (non-lawyer) opinion, a good case for negligent homicide by the swatter. Especially given that this isn’t his first rodeo. The statement given to the police can be designed to be more likely to end badly. The police are trying to do their job, but they’ve been manipulated by a criminal.

          1. Reader

            In your scenario, the cop could have just as easily murdered a hostage. From over 50 feet away.

            The cop had the luxury of waiting to see if a gun would be drawn. He had the luxury of distance and cover. He had the luxury of having an aimed weapon. He had no justifiable reason to murder a man before determining if he was a hostage or a threat.

            We allow police to be armed to respond to clear and present dangers, not respond to fear, stupidity, and cowardice.

    2. Quid_est_veritas


      You are actually making the case that the swatter should be convicted for at least accessory to murder if one could reasonably expect that cops might shoot someone answering the door.

  7. DelilahtheSober

    I believe that he should be facing life in prison and not a pitiful 11 years maximum sentence

  8. Olivier

    SWATing would not be an issue if it were not for the proliferation of SWAT teams and the police’s shoot-first-and-think-next attitude. The few times a murder by a cop comes before a court it’s nearly always a complete whitewash. *That* is the real problem.

    1. JasonR

      Would you prefer unarmed bobbies show up with whistles to a hostage situation where there is a report of one person shot and killed?

      SWAT is the appropriate response – but with better training. Firing when barricaded because someone moves fast doesn’t make sense. A weapon or explosive device needs to be seen before a shot is fired. Further, just because one officer thinks they see something and fires should not justify other officers firing (not an issue here, but in other situations, after one officer fires, the rest unload as well).

  9. Cory

    When he gets out, he’ll do it again. He’s been punished before and went right back to the same behavior. It’s his identity now. He’ll get out early (or get away with it) and he’ll do it again, mark my words.

    1. Mahhn

      He will live in fear the rest of his life. Don’t forget his name. Just call him every month and ask if the police are there yet….

      1. HehHeh

        He’ll get SWATed, if he makes it out this time. Would love to see him staring down the scopes – maybe he’d be foolish enough to move abruptly and get shot, too.

  10. Mike

    1) Get charges for making false calls from all victim jurisdictions–swatting and bomb threats.
    2) Have their charges moved to the Kansas trail.
    3) Maximum sentences per incident, according to each jurisdiction’s sentencing.
    4) Serve prison sentences sequentially, not concurrently.

    I wish he could this…

  11. Jonathan

    He should be charged with murder in the first degree (depraved indifference). Regardless of who pulled the trigger, the person who set the chain of events in motion needs to pay the appropriate price.

        1. Muse

          “To be great is to be misunderstood.”

          -Gilbert Gottfried, the bard

  12. Gigi

    How is this “swatter” any different than someone who enlists a third person (hitman) to eliminate their spouse, coworker, biz partner, etc. for insurance/money/revenge?

    He acknowledges personally contacting and weaponizing a highly trained, heavily armed group of individuals (a SWAT team) to act as a third party threat force; actively creating the expectation of a reception of extreme prejudice on their part at the response scene – thus increasing exponentially the potential lethal outcome; purposefully circumventing the 911 protective mechanisms for caller identification (willing and knowing – premeditation) in order to execute an illegal act (false reporting of a crime); and doing it for money/revenge/thrills.

    Neither could he know if the victim would respond to such an encounter with lethal force, thus placing the police, the family, and the neighbors at severe risk of injury or death – a wanton and active disregard for the life of anyone in or near the scene. How would this story change if the victim responded with a hostage situation or a shoot-out that resulted in deaths of the the police or bystanders?

    In addition, each individual how contacted him to engage in this malicious and deadly act should also be charged and sentenced to the full extent of the law. They initiated the crime, he planned it and planted the bomb (seeming a favorite pass time of his), and they all watched as the purposefully volatile situation exploded to great consequence – thereby fulfilling their intentions of creating a victim (even if the “wrong” one).

    Alternatively, further investigation is warranted as it seems suspicious that these several actors would not be able to easily identify the name/address info the ultimate victim. It smells fishy to me, given that as regular players at the swatting game, those instigators would know all the tricks to concealing their ID’s and targeting someone and thus could not have known or easily discovered the identity of this victim. It seems that swatters in other cases have had little problem in tracing and targeting their intended victims through the online tools. I have to wonder if this victim may have actually been the target of some plot yet unknown.

  13. Gigi

    Correction “…those instigators would know all the tricks to concealing their ID’s and targeting someone and thus could have known or easily discovered the identity of this victim. “

  14. Only sane one

    Its simple, he called the cops saying its a hostage situation with the perp (innocent victime) having already shot someone and is ARMED.
    Magic word for the swat team. ARMED – ALREADY SHOT A HOSTAGE.
    I don’t say what the cop did his right, in fact i believe he shot way to early but the resppnsibility falls on bariss here and should get 20 years minimum for murder.
    Get it people. Again: he called saying he was armed and already shot a guy.
    Swat ain’t gonna f*ck around when they get there.

    1. Reader

      There’s a famous New Yorker magazine cartoon by Peter Steiner in 1993. (Link below) A dog is sitting at a computer near another dog. The caption reads, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

      The lesson is that the information you observe on the Internet may not be authentic or even from a human.

      The same can be said for telephone callers.

      We train ourselves to be skeptical of strangers and unverified information. We teach our children and remind our elderly to careful, that people online and on the phone could be liars.

      Why should police be exempt from this basic life lesson?

      The caller, Barriss, could have identified himself as Vladimir Putin or a Martian. Should police have treated that credibly without a bit of investigation?

      People lie. That’s a fact of life. Whether Barriss identified himself as a killer, a hostage, or a Russian oligarch, it is the responsibility of police to ascertain truth and assess reality.

      And they should distinguish fantasy from fact before opening fire on a man who opens his door to ask what’s going on outside.

      The cartoon is reproduced here: https://condenaststore.com/featured/on-the-internet-peter-steiner.html

      1. Whatever

        You know the amount of time it takes you to type even a word on the computer, no matter how fast your typing is, is more time than they have to distinguish and analyze a situation.

        You have constants: Dispatcher has told you there’s a potential hostage situation, with one shot and killed. This person has gone on record to say they are ready to kill the hostages, themselves, and burn down the house which potentially kills them and the whole block.

        Skepticism and analyzing takes time. Time, they DON’T HAVE. Certainly, you know it was a hoax. They don’t. They can’t. They have to respond to the situation 100%.

        Imagine the dispatcher takes this time, and it’s a real situation, to check information. By the time they get residency information, the psycho on the phone settles on burning the house down. That’s three lives ended because of skepticism.

        Imagine the person, even if it is a hostage, has a firearm. Just reached for it from their waistband and is now aiming at a cop. You wait two or three seconds to try and focus and see if that’s a gun, toy gun, tv remote, or otherwise and they open fire and end that cops life. Time wasted because of analyzing just ended a life.

        Police aren’t exempt from being skeptical to fake calls, but rather they assume all calls are real so that they’re there IF they’re needed, ALL THE TIME. If we raise the bar so that dispatchers can just decide not to send people when they have the ability and we’re NOT there because the dispatcher decided it could be fake because of swatters, who do we blame? No matter what we do, mistakes are inevitable and WILL be made.

        Either we go and accidentally harm or kill innocents, or we don’t go and let real criminals kill handfuls of people because we’re too skeptical and decide it’s “too likely to be fake.”

        1. Todd

          The cop,who killed the victim is guilty of murder. How is this so hard to understand? The cop reacted wrong, plain and simple. Sure, this malicious swatter needs some quality incarceration time, and plenty of it. This in no way negates blame for murder on the part of the idiot cop who shot without understanding the situation, this is clearly evidenced simply by the fact the victim was UNARMED and doing nothing threatening (I know it’s shocking, but when there is a ruckus outside your front door, one tends to see what’s going on.) The cop not only murdered an innocent man, he also failed to identify any backstops. You don’t just shoot into a house without knowing the situation. This is basic marksmanship stuff, not super secret ninja swat training. Everyone defending the cops actions, or trying to justify them needs to take a look at the facts, and just pretend for a moment that cops don’t get a pass just because they wear a uniform. If you or I did the same thing, in the same circumstance, what would the outcome be? Would I get my employer to do an internal investigation? “I thought someone was in trouble and I killed the wrong person” oh, ok, take a few weeks paid vaca and them back to work? Or, might I be charged with murder? Why do the supposedly well trained hero’s get to murder without consequence? Who voted for that? Did you? I sure didn’t. I’m betting the victim didn’t vote for it either. Wake up!

      2. Brains not Brine

        “The caller, Barriss, could have identified himself as Vladimir Putin or a Martian. Should police have treated that credibly without a bit of investigation?”

        That would be the kind of thing that would alert them to evidence of a hoax.

        They actually do consider such things. Some SWAT’s fail on that basis. Overall though if it’s not obviously a hoax, they have to respond. What would you do instead?

        How do you credibly investigate a realtime emergency report?

        You go to the scene.

  15. Leo

    On having read all the comments here on this story, I came to the realization that being on a jury must be very similar. How do people ever come to a consensus with so many opposing viewpoints?

    And I just love the ‘escape goat’ reference. SCAPEGOAT !!! I have a picture of an ‘escape goat’. Would love to share it, but alas, not allowed.

  16. Mikey Doesn't Like It

    To all the aspiring lawyers out there… 😉

    No, this idiot didn’t pull the trigger himself. But he did deliberately SET IN MOTION a series of events that (sadly) led to a death. Knowing full well that he was creating a potentially high-risk situation.

    Involuntary manslaughter is appropriate, and I hope the judge throws the book at him. (FWIW, the judge can consider not only his prior conviction, but also the defendant’s own boast of having done a hundred similar hoaxes.)

    Sentence to be served without any access to any computer or other electronic device. And no chance for early parole.

    1. Kent Brockman

      Sure, and the cop who murdered the innocent guy who came to his own door(could have easily been a “hostage”) should be sharing a neighboring cell.

  17. Dan

    It is tough to be in the cops shoes on this one. Cops deal with shady situations all day long, every traffic stop is potentially deadly. Every swat call they come in with guns out expecting a hostile response. It is easy to say that the officer should not have fired his weapon, just like it is easy to say a user should NEVER click on a phishing email. However in both cases people are conditioned by experience and training to do what they do. By creating a false pretext for a hostage situation the caller put the officers on edge thinking it was a life and death situation. Even trained professionals make mistakes in those situations. There are lots of keyboard warriors blaming the police on this one but they had no way of knowing this was hoax until it was too late. I suppose they could have sent an officer to knock on the door and ask politely if this really was a hostage situation and if an armed man was inside?

    95% of the fault lies with the swatter who started this all with a call with no thought or care of the innocent people that would be affected.

    1. Kent Brockman

      Bull. The officer made it a life and (in this case death) by shooting first and asking questions later. An unarmed person comes to the door and is murdered in cold blood. That person could have been a hostage for all anyone knew sent out by the imaginary perp. If these guys aren’t trained to use their brains, they have no business being given legal deadly force. Covering for this sort crap, only perpetuates it.

      “95% of the fault lies with the swatter who started this all with a call with no thought or care of the innocent people that would be affected.”

      The exact same thing could be said about the cop, who gave neither thought nor care that an innocent person could be in his gun sight.

    2. Todd

      Who pulled the trigger? That is who is at fault for murder. The swatter is certainly guilty for setting these events in motion, but don’t try and figure out how the cop can be blameless – he clearly is not. Both can be guilty, it doesn’t have to be either/or.

  18. Steve

    While clearly this doofus, if guilty, deserves the book thrown at him, the old “he reached for his waistband” excuse by an overmilitiarized police force for killing yet another innocent person is just getting a little old, isn’t it?

    Either all civilians need mandatory schooling in how to respond to a fearful, amped up cop with a lethal weapon, including “hands up/don’t shoot” drills, or perhaps our police officers need to be a little less free with the use of their weapons.

    Other jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, seem to be able to resolve these matters without the lethal use of firearms. A quick bit of research tells us that sometimes they go for a couple of years without killing anyone for *any* reason.

    You be the judge.

  19. John Bendeim

    If he gets raped to death or has his anus prolapsed in prison, I would think the people who did that to him would have little remorse for what happened. This skinny fuck won’t last another two years, I’m guessing he gets shanked in the anus so the blood can be used as a lubricant. Bye bye!

    1. Nope

      Your fantasies are only revealing your own mind’s contents.

      It has nothing to do with corrections or law or reality.

      Enjoy yourself.

  20. MikeM

    Assuming he was hired to do this, I hope an investigation into the person(s) that paid him is underway…they are equally responsible in my opinion…

    Did I miss this in the article?

    1. Nope

      “Assuming he was hired to do this,”

      Why make stuff up to fill holes in your reading?

      1. MikeM

        Just because he said he was hired…doesn’t mean he actually was…people who get caught are always looking for someone else to blame things on…

        Found it myself: ‘Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told the The LA Times Barriss made the fake emergency call at the urging of several other individuals, and that authorities have identified other “potential suspects” that may also face criminal charges.’

        Note that even the DA used “potential suspects”…

  21. ken ambrose

    BRAINLESS HALFWIT. Deserves to spend the rest of his life as prison wifey to some huge smelly dudes

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