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Suspect in fatal swatting faces 46 new charges

Tyler Barriss expected to plead guilty to phoning in bomb threats and using police to harass others for years leading up to last December's death over a Call of Duty argument

Late last year, 28-year-old father of two Andrew Finch was killed by Kansas police officers responding to a phony 911 call saying the man's house was the scene of a hostage situation. The swatting was the result of an argument over an online Call of Duty match.

25-year-old Tyler Barriss was arrested for allegedly making the call in the days after the event. As reported by Wired yesterday, it was apparently not the first time Barriss had used police to harass people. Federal prosecutors in California have filed 46 new charges against Barriss dating back to the fall of 2015, but with a significant concentration in the months leading up to December's fatal swatting.

Among the new charges are bomb threats phoned in to schools in five different states, with Barriss telling Wired he did it to give his Halo-playing friends a day off from their studies. He is also accused of bomb threats, bank fraud, violating a protective order, and swatting people at the behest of others on Twitter, charging one of them $10 each for three different calls.

The two Call of Duty players whose argument precipitated the fatal shooting are also facing charges. One of them allegedly asked Barriss to swat the other in the first place. Authorities said the other suspected the plot and sent Barriss a taunting note inviting the swatting and providing a false address that sent officers instead to the home of Andrew Finch. Both have pled not guilty.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar

Brendan Sinclair

Managing Editor

Brendan joined GamesIndustry International in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at CBS-owned GameSpot in the US.

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