EXCLUSIVE: Interview with 'swatting' suspect from Sedgwick County jail

Published: Jan. 11, 2018 at 11:34 AM CST
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Update 6 p.m. Jan.14

Tyler Barriss remains in Sedgwick County Jail facing involuntary manslaughter charges for the death of Andrew Finch.

Prosecutors say Barris made a fake call to The Wichita Police Department, which led police to an address where an officer shot and killed an unarmed Finch.

"As far as serving any amount of time. I'll just take responsibility and serve whatever time, or whatever it is that they throw at me… I'm willing to do it. That's just how I feel about it," says Barriss.

He says whatever sentence he faces legally, for his role in the death of Andrew Finch, won't change what happened.

"Whether you hang me from a tree, or you give me 5, 10, 15 years… I don't think it will ever justify what happened."

Barriss faces involuntary manslaughter charges currently, that could become more severe depending on the investigation into the death of Finch.

The department says they thought Finch was reaching for his waistband to point at police.

Officers say he was unarmed and uninvolved in the events that led police to his home.

"I hope no one ever does it, ever again. I hope it's something that ceases to exist."

Barriss says this is something he wishes never happened and although he understands people may swat again in the future. He says he hopes whatever happens to him will stop them.

"I would bring up this, and let them know before you do it, just remember what can happen. Someone could lose their life and it's no joke. It's not funny."

Barriss did not want to talk about any legal responsibility for the police officer who shot Finch or any other gamers online who may have been involved. He says it doesn't matter because nothing can change the fact that someone was killed.


Update 10 p.m. Jan. 12:

For the first time since his arrest, the suspect in a deadly Wichita swatting case spoke on camera Friday with Eyewitness News.

Eyewitness News reporter Jacob Albracht talked to Barriss from the Sedgwick County jail - just hours after he was charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Police say Barriss is responsible for the death of Andrew Finch at a south Wichita home. Finch was shot by police on Dec. 28 after a fake call sent officers to his house. Barriss is accused of making that call.

In Friday's interview, a remorseful Barriss says he wishes the incident leading to Finch's death didn't happen.

"I never intended for anyone to get shot and killed," he says.

Even if getting an innocent man shot and killed by police was never the intent, many wonder why anyone would make a swatting call in the first place.

"There is no inspiration. I don't get bored and just sit around and decide I'm going to make a SWAT call," Barriss says.

Barriss says people had often paid him to make the fake emergency calls, but he wouldn't say if he was paid to make the swatting call in Wichita that led to Finch's death.

Barriss was hesitant when asked directly about making the call to Wichita police that led officers to Finch's home. But he did offer some insight into how he feels, knowing what his call became for one Wichita family.

"It hasn't just affected my life, it's affected someone's family too," he says. "Someone lost their life. I understand the magnitude of what happened. It's not just affecting me because I'm sitting in jail. I know who it has affected. I understand all of that."


"Of course, you know, I feel a little of remorse for what happened. I never intended for anyone to get shot and killed. I don't think during any attempted swatting anyone's intentions are for someone to get shot and killed," said Barriss from the Sedgwick County jail. "I guess they're just going for that shock factor whatever it is, for whatever reason someone's attempting swat, or whatever you want to call it."

Prosecutors say Barriss made a call claiming there was a hostage situation at a home in south Wichita.

A police officer shot and killed Andrew Finch when he came out of the home where they thought that situation was ongoing.

The officer saw Finch move and thought he might be getting a weapon but he was unarmed.


Jan.12 - 4:30 p.m.

The man accused in a deadly swatting case in Wichita made his first appearance in a Sedgwick County District Court Friday afternoon.

Tyler Barriss is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch. He's accused of making the call that led police to Finch's house, where he was shot and killed by an officer.

Wichita police said the officer who shot Finch thought he was reaching for a weapon when he fired his service weapon.

If convicted, Barriss faces two to 11 years in prison.

Many people wonder why Barriss isn't facing a murder charge. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett explained the involuntary manslaughter charge after the hearing.

"A felony murder in Kansas is when someone dies in the course of an inherently dangerous felony," said Bennett.

Barriss is currently being held in the Sedgwick County jail on $500,000 bond.

His next court appearance is set for Jan. 25 at 9 a.m.


3:50 p.m.

The man accused of placing a "swatting" call that led to the deadly officer-involved shooting in Wichita has been booked into the Sedgwick County Jail.

According to online jail records, Tyler Barriss is charged with involuntary manslaughter; giving false alarm, notifying emergency services and interfering with a law enforcement officer, falsely reporting a felony.

The booking report shows Barriss was booked into jail at 3:14 p.m.

He was extradited from the Los Angeles County jail Thursday morning.

Barriss is currently being held in the Sedgwick County jail on a $500,000 bond.

Eyewitness News is checking the Sedgwick County District Attorney's Office to find out when he will make his next court appearance.


Eyewitness News has learned that Tyler Barriss is coming to Kansas.

According to jail records in Los Angeles, Barriss was released to Kansas authorities at 8:53 a.m. Central Standard Time.

We have been able to confirm that Barriss is on a flight coming from California.

Barriss is wanted in Kansas for placing a "swatting" call that led to the deadly shooting of 28-year-old Andrew Finch.

Stay tuned on-air and online for the latest on this story.