Wichita Police on Tuesday are meeting with the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office to deliver their investigative findings into a "swatting" incident that took place last week and resulted in the police-involved shooting death of a 28-year-old man, the DA's office tells Glixel. District Attorney Marc Bennett will decide what charges the suspect, arrested last week in California, will face soon.
That decision could come down as early as today. Once decided, Barriss will have an appearance in a Los Angeles court to hear the charges against him and will have the right to wave extradition to Kansas or fight it. The investigation into the officer fatal shooting someone is under investigation by the DA's Office.
Tyler R. Barriss was arrested at 3:15 p.m. Friday and is being held without bail as a fugitive from justice, Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office booking told Glixel. Wichita Police told Glixel they are working with Los Angeles Police and the FBI on the case. Andrew Finch, 28, was fatally shot by Wichita police Thursday night after they received a call from someone claiming to live at the home and saying they had killed their father, doused the home in gas and planned to set it on fire with their mother and brother still inside. None of that was true.
Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston said in a press conference Friday night that police arrived at the home of Finch shortly after the 911 calls believing they were responding to a murder and hostage situation. In a police body-cam video released by the department on Friday, you can see Finch walk out of the home with his hands up. He appears to lower his hands and you can hear a single shot. In the video, you can also hear an officer shouting "show me your hands" and "walk this way" before the shot is fired. Livingston says the officer who fired believed the man pulled a gun from his waistband and was raising it to point it at police. "Fearing for those officers' safety on the north side, he fired one round," Livingston says.
After the shooting, police discovered four other people inside, but no body or any hostages. "During the investigation, we learned that an unknown individual had placed this police false call," Livingston says during the press conference. "We believe this is a case of swatting, which is the act of deceiving emergency services into sending a police response to another person's address. We are continuing to follow up on the individual we believe responsible for making this call and will follow up with our federal partners."
More than a dozen people on Twitter say the swatting incident stemmed from a feud between two Call of Duty players over a $2 bet. "I DIDN'T GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDN'T DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISN'T MY PROFESSION," one person wrote on Twitter after others claimed he made the swatting call, one newspaper reports. That person's account was suspended overnight. According to Twitter posts, the target of the swatting threat gave the other gamer a false address, sending police to Finch's home instead of his own. "Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed," the person reportedly said on Twitter.
The officer who shot Finch, a seven-year veteran, is on paid administrative leave. Finch leaves behind two children ages 2 and 7.
Update: Kansas is seeking extradition in the case and Barriss faces at least one felony charge.