Scumbag Arrested for Wichita Swatting Death, But What About the Police? [VIDEO]

Scumbag Arrested for Wichita Swatting Death, But What About the Police? [VIDEO]

Scumbag Arrested for Wichita Swatting Death, But What About the Police? [VIDEO]

On Thursday night, in Wichita, KS, an innocent man died as a result of a deadly prank known as “swatting.”

On Saturday, police in Los Angeles announced the arrest of the scumbag responsible for the prank. He is 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, and police allege he made a fraudulent 911 call claiming that he had killed his father. He also said he was holding his mother and ‘little brother’ hostage, and added that he had doused his home with gasoline.

Trouble was, nothing like that happened in LA. Or anywhere else, actually. Instead, Barriss directed police to an address in Wichita, where they shot and killed an unarmed man.

On Saturday, Wichita police released this video. It shows body cam footage, along with a recording of the 911 call.

And it was all because of an online gaming feud, involving a measly $1.50 wager over the video game Call of Duty. Two players made online threats to ‘swat’ each other. But the dead man — 28-year-old Andrew Finch — had no connection to the feud, and wasn’t even a gamer. Instead, he was a victim to internet losers fighting online over a video game.

The victim, Andrew Finch. Credit:

Moreover, Barriss — who uses the gaming handle “Swautistic” —  has a history of calling in hoaxes. In 2015 he was accused of calling in a bomb hoax to an ABC-affiliate station, causing its evacuation. Other gamers also state that Barriss had swatted a gaming event in Dallas.

Obviously, this guy is a real piece of work. However, in an interview on the YouTube channel “Keemstar,” Barriss said he shouldn’t “get charged with murder.” We also find that he’s sort of a ‘swatter for hire’ between feuding parties, because he loves to “evacuate stuff for fun.” It appears that’s just what he did in this instance.

He also made this astonishing cold comment on his Twitter account, which has been suspended:

I didn’t get anyone killed because I didn’t discharge a weapon and being a SWAT member isn’t my profession.”

You can hear the jaw-dropping interview here. Even the “Keemstar” interviewer couldn’t believe what he heard.


Obviously Barriss is the scum of the online gaming community. I’m going to go so far as to say he may be a sociopath, devoid of empathy. But there are those who seem to minimize his participation, and instead point fingers at the Wichita police department.

Of course leftwing sites are more than happy to blame the cops. Think Progress pointed out in a headline “the swatting hoax by online gamers resulted in the 973rd shooting death by a police officer in 2017.”

Hullaballoo wrote this:

Police are shooting unarmed people and getting away with it because they are going into situations as if they are invading Fallujah and average Americans who have no idea what’s going on and don’t realize that they are living in a war zone fail to perfectly comply and are murdered on the spot.

Libertarian blamed “the roles militarization and trigger-happy law enforcement tactics play.”

However, even some commenters at conservative sites blame the police officer:

That wichita cop who shot him should have the same happen to him and rot in hell. Hand by his wasteband wtf!!!!!

And this:

Bullshit, these insane power hungry above the law bastards have zero right to do crap like this. Some jacked up cop shoots your spouse in your house because his hand was by his wasteband..before they got there they knew everything about them and there family and should have been aware swatting m8ght be possible.

No, the police didn’t “know everything about them.” They were not aware that “swatting might be possible.” Moreover, in the body cam video you can see that while Andrew Finch did raise his hands as ordered, he also lowered them to his waistband, the place where shooters usually carry guns. Or near a pocket that might hold a lighter to torch an allegedly gasoline-soaked house.

It’s easy in hindsight to listen to Barriss’s phone call and hear how over-the-top his claims really are. But 911 dispatchers have to take everything seriously, as do the police. What if the call was a bona fide shooting/hostage situation, and dispatchers and police brushed it off as bogus? They just can’t win, can they?

Back in 2011, the conservative blogger Patterico was himself the victim of a swatting hoax. Police arrived at his house after midnight, pointed their guns at him, handcuffed him, and placed him in a police car. They also woke up his wife and children, frisked Patterico’s wife, and then made her to stand with her hands against the wall.

Yet Patterico didn’t blame the police:

The call that sent deputies to my home was a hoax. Someone had pretended to be me. They called the police to say I had shot my wife. The sheriff’s deputies who arrived at my front door believed they were about to confront an armed man who had just shot his wife. I don’t blame the police for any of their actions. But I blame the person who made the call. (Boldface mine.)

So was the Wichita cop who shot Andrew Finch at partial fault here? Perhaps. I’m not a police officer, nor do I have any relatives who are. I have no idea if the seven-year veteran police officer who shot Mr. Finch overreacted, or if he followed correct protocol. Perhaps the protocol itself needs to be changed. But I’m sure of one thing — and that’s if authorities would properly punish sick SOBs like Tyler Barriss, innocent people like Andrew Finch wouldn’t die over some dumbass online gaming feud.

Written by

Kim is a pint-sized patriot who packs some big contradictions. She is a Baby Boomer who never became a hippie, an active Republican who first registered as a Democrat (okay, it was to help a sorority sister's father in his run for sheriff), and a devout Lutheran who practices yoga. Growing up in small-town Indiana, now living in the Kansas City metro, Kim is a conservative Midwestern gal whose heart is also in the Seattle area, where her eldest daughter, son-in-law, and grandson live. Kim is a working speech pathologist who left school system employment behind to subcontract to an agency, and has never looked back. She describes her conservatism as falling in the mold of Russell Kirk's Ten Conservative Principles. Don't know what they are? Google them!

  • Nina Bookout says:

    Great post Kim!

    There are about 400 SWATting calls a year now. It’s a flat out miracle that no one has been killed prior to this.

    In regards to everyone second guessing the police. This from your post is absolutely SPOT ON.

    “911 dispatchers have to take everything seriously, as do the police. What if the call was a bona fide shooting/hostage situation, and dispatchers and police brushed it off as bogus? They just can’t win, can they?”

    No, they can’t win. When a call like that comes in…everyone LEO responding HAS to presume it’s real. And sadly, unfortunately, when body language gives a signal that – due to the situation – may be threatening … what else are they supposed to do?

    Media is calling SWATting a prank. It’s not. It’s far from it. Actions like this endanger the lives of everyone involved. Those who engage in this kind of heinous crap need to be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

  • Hank says:

    Murder by deception is still murder. Put him away for life, no parole and send a message to all would be “swatters’.

  • David R Byler says:

    Police are right to respond as they did to 911 call. On the other hand, as I read this and watched the clip, I realized that were I to have stepped to the door and heard coming from the darkness the words “walk this way!,” I likely would have adjusted the 02 tubing that has grown to be a part of me these days and my wife would be a widow this morning. I don’t want police killed because of too many restrictions. Perhaps what I want is pond scum like this guy shot down in a hail of bullets so he can’t be a continued threat to MY life.

  • KSoldier says:

    Could he possible be charged with conspiracy to commit murder?

  • MikeE says:

    One thing is certain. Our lily-livered legislators will do nothing about this.

  • GWB says:

    I’m going to go so far as to say he may be a sociopath, devoid of empathy.
    No. He’s a psychopath. He’s beyond a sociopath.

    But 911 dispatchers have to take everything seriously, as do the police.
    The problem is they take them all too literally, but not seriously enough. They seldom bother to check the address against sources to derive tactical info – such as whether the phone number corresponds to the address, names given versus records, etc. They often don’t engage their critical thinking skills. They let the phone call* drive every aspect of their response – IOW, they’re going on instinct (built by training and protocol). This is much too common of a problem.

    Look, I don’t want cops unnecessarily put in danger. I don’t think all cops are power-mad or too quick on the trigger. I think most of them are pretty good folks.
    But a moment of mental prep here should have given everyone pause. Given the outrageous nature* of the phone call, and this guy comes to the door like this? That right there should have had people letting up the pressure on their trigger-fingers.

    I certainly think there should be an investigation of this shoot.

    (* The very nature of the phone call should have had cops taking a more careful approach, IMO.)

  • Paul Michel says:

    I find it hard to have empathy for this guy, but your story loses credibility when you call him a scumbag. You’re better off reporting the facts and letting your reader come to a conclusion regarding his character.

    • Cheri says:

      Opinion piece, not reporting.

      • This is a blog piece, and an excellent example of what we do here at VG. We do it well, with cited sources. Better than a lot of “reporting.” Therefore, I can understand the confusion. But this is an opinion piece. Something for which “reporting” should never be confused. 🙂 It’s a good piece with solid information and links to further reading.
        Merry Christmas!

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