California man pleads guilty to fatal swatting and FCC bomb threatNovember 14, 2018
A Californian man whose unsuccessful swatting attempt led to the death of 28-year old Andrew Finch has pled guilty to charges that will see him sent to prison for at least 20 years. Tyler Barriss was charged with cyberstalking, conspiracy, and making a false report that resulted in death. He also pled guilty to calling in numerous fake bomb scares against schools, universities, shopping malls, the headquarters of the FBI, and those of the FCC during its vote on net neutrality.
Barriss was first charged back in January 2018, after being arrested shortly after the fatal shooting on December 28th, 2017. The hoax call originated from a disagreement over a Call of Duty match on which a bet of $1.50 was placed. However, events spiralled out of control, with two of Barriss’ teammates, Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill, becoming involved in the swat that led to Finch’s death. Viner asked Barriss to swat Gaskill, who in turn goaded Barriss into swatting an address that he no longer lived at. Andrew Finch, who was living at that address at that time, was shot by police after they saw his hands drop to his waistband. The three defendants then deleted the messages sent between them after realizing what had happened.
Both Viner and Gaskill are currently awaiting trial on charges of wire fraud and obstruction of justice, while Viner will face an additional charge of conspiracy to make false or hoax reports to the police. Sentencing for Barriss is due to take place on January 30th.