Affidavit details case against Wichita 'swatting' suspect

Published: Jan. 26, 2018 at 5:04 PM CST
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An affidavit released Friday details the case against a California man accused of making the hoax emergency call that led to a Wichita police officer fatally shooting 28-year-old Andrew Finch. The affidavit also identifies others involved in an online game that led to the swatting call being made.

The affidavit says through the investigation, a Wichita Police Department detective learned from Sedgwick County dispatch that two calls were made indicating witnesses from out of state knew about the false call to the Wichita home.

One man from out of state explained to Sedgwick County dispatch that he had seen Twitter posts about who made that swatting call and unveiled the information that it was over a video game.

A second call to dispatch from another man says there was an online game for money and people playing the game with the victim "swatted" him and called in a prank call because they were mad about losing.

The man told dispatch the person identified as the target for the prank provided a false address in the game. The address he provided was in south Wichita. Finch was not part of the game, police say.

The affidavit says investigator learned that a character used by a Wichita man playing the online game had accidentally shot/killed the character of a teammate in the game. That teammate is identified as a man in Ohio. An argument escalated on Twitter. The Ohio man threatened to "swat" the Wichita man and when he did so, the Wichita man posted the address of 1033 W. McCormick. No one at that address, including Andrew Finch, was involved in the game, the investigation revealed.

The affidavit says multiple people contacted investigators saying they were seeing a Twitter conversation between the Ohio man and a handle that was found to belong to 25-year-old Tyler Barriss.

Cincinnati police located the Ohio man whom investigators identify as a suspect in swatting incidents in the Cincinnati area.

On the call to the McCormick address, the calling party -- identified as Barriss by investigators -- advised he had shot his father in the head and was holding other family members hostage. He also threatened to burn the house down after pouring gasoline.

In response to the call, officers cleared the residence of several people, none of whom reported being held hostage, the affidavit says.

On that call, the affidavit says police arrived at the south Wichita home at about 6:23 p.m. and began to establish a perimeter around the residence.

"Officers observed movement in the residence and began to approach, when an adult male from the residence was shot by Wichita Police at or around (6:28 p.m.)," the affidavit says.

That man was Andrew Finch.

Barriss, accused of making the fake call that led to Finch's death, was arrested in California and earlier this month, was extradited to Sedgwick County. Police say Barriss was taken into custody at a Los Angeles library on Dec. 29.

He's charged with involuntary manslaughter in connection to Finch's death.

Barriss, who has been charged before for making "swatting" calls, admitted to using a library's WiFi to make the Dec. 28 call to the Wichita address. Investigators were able to match Barriss' voice on the Dec. 28 call to prior "swatting" calls, the affidavit says.