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The gamer who swatted a Kansas man and indirectly got him killed by police is facing a prison sentence of 20-25 years.
According to KTLA, Tyler Barriss pleaded guilty to 51 charges related to the December 2017 incident in which he called the Wichita, Kansas, police and said he had taken family members hostage and was planning to shoot them. It’s a prank called swatting, and the Los Angeles-based Barriss was compelled to participate to help settle a $1.50 dispute between two other Call of Duty: WWII gamers.
In this instance, an unarmed Wichita man named Andrew Finch, who had nothing to do with the dispute and didn’t play video games, answered the door and was shot to death by police.
Now, the 26-year-old Barriss has pleaded guilty to making a false report resulting in a death, cyberstalking, and conspiracy, according to KTLA.
Barriss—who will also face a trial in January on an involuntary manslaughter charge—will be sentenced on Jan. 30, where it’s expected he’ll receive a prison sentence of at least 20 years.
In an interview with YouTuber Keemstar last December, Barriss—aka Swautistic—said another gamer contacted him to prank call the police against a second gamer because the two gamers had been in a money dispute. Barriss said the person who contacted him had given him a fake address in Wichita.
“I was minding my own business at the library when someone contacted me and said ‘Hey dude, this fuckin’ retard just gave me his address and he thinks nothing’s gonna happen. You wanna prove him wrong?’” Barriss told Keemstar. “And I said, ‘Sure, I love swatting kids who think that nothing’s gonna happen.’”
The address Barriss provided to police ultimately belonged to Finch. The other two gamers are facing charges including conspiracy and fraud, according to NPR.
“Yeah, the call was made by me, but as far as the whole incident, you could point the finger at the cop who killed someone, you could point the finger at the person who made the call, you could point the finger at the person who provided the address, who said, ‘Oh look this is where I live, go ahead and swat me, if you do you’re going to go to prison for five years,’” he told Keemstar.
Barriss also had tweeted, “I didn’t get anyone killed because I didn’t discharge a weapon and being a SWAT member isn’t my profession.”
As NPR wrote, Barriss has a long history of making hoax calls to emergency phone numbers throughout the country.
U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said that he’ll recommend a prison sentence of 20 years if Barriss writes apology letters to Finch’s family and police officials. If Barriss doesn’t, McAllister said, via the Wichita Eagle, that Barriss will face a longer sentence.
“We are comfortable with the end result,” McAllister told reporters.
Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.