LOS ANGELES (FOX 11) - In a courtroom in Downtown Los Angeles, Tyler Barriss tells a judge he won't fight extradition to Kansas for a case of swatting. "Swatting" is making a phony telephone call or creating a hoax aimed at bringing out police and a SWAT team thinking something really bad is going down.
The claim? Allegedly, Barriss, from South LA, pretended to be a man in Wichita who'd shot his father in the head and poured gasoline across his home. Police in Wichita received an address and when they moved in an innocent man - Andrew Finch - who came to the door to see what was going on. Police opened fire when they thought he moved his hand toward his belt.
They thought he was going for a gun and in this slowed down police body-cam video you can hear the slowed sound of a single bullet being fired that killed Finch.
As for the why? An online gaming forum spoke with a man believed to be Barriss - an avid gamer...in the hours after the incident. The man, claiming to be Barriss is asked "Do you take any responsibility for what happened? The answer..." an argument can be made that the police wouldn't have shown up if I hadn't made the call, but I don't believe I was the only party involved."
Could Barriss be tried for murder? Retired LAPD Sergeant Michael Sayre says, “He could absolutely be held 100% accountable. And, especially if this came from a gaming vindictive…a revenge where they got into an argument over gaming. Now, you’ve really put an emphasis on retaliation and wanton disregard for the family’s safety…his safety so, absolutely…” he could be held accountable for up to first-degree murder.”
Criminal Defense Attorney Lou Shapiro says they can charge what they want, but, "the fact is the defense will argue this was unforeseeable. It’s never happened before and therefore this guy cannot be held accountable for it this time.”
There are hundreds of swatting each year according to Federal statistics. We’ve had high profile ones here involving the Kardashians, Katlyn, and the Jenner family. They’ve happened in the Inland Empire, we’ve seen it up in Palmdale. But, until now, there’s never been a death. So, what laws are at play?
When you ask Shapiro about the consequences of a situation like this where somebody dies. He says, there are "to an extent, but the defense would argue that...look, this was a prank, a silly prank, a mindless prank that he never thought would end up in this situation.”
Meanwhile, Finch’s mom and family blame police for pulling the trigger. The mother says, “I’m in denial now. I keep thinking this is a dream and I’ll wake up and he’s going to be here.”
But, it's Barriss who soon will be in Wichita now that the judge has remanded him into the custody of the LA County Sheriffs Department with no bail.
The judge hearing the case said he should be turned over to Kansas authorities no later than February 2nd.