Published: Fri, January 12, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Suspect in deadly Kansas 911 hoax wanted for similar calls in Canada

Suspect in deadly Kansas 911 hoax wanted for similar calls in Canada

Police said they were responding to an emergency call in which a man claimed to have shot his father and said he was now holding his mother and younger brother hostage. The call led officers to believe the incident occurred at an address in Calgary.

When Calgary officers arrived on the scene and were trying to confirm the report, 911 operators received a call form a woman who lived at the address of the call saying she believed she was a victim of swatting call.

The recent issuing of arrest warrants for a California man in connection with a fraudulent call to 911 that prompted a large police presence in southwest Calgary was likely the first encounter with the term "swatting" for many Calgarians but, for online gamers, the criminal prank calls are well-known.

Police have said 28-year-old Andrew Finch was shot after a prankster called 911 two weeks ago with a fake story about a shooting and kidnapping at Finch's Wichita home.

"We take swatting events extremely seriously and will investigate each incident thoroughly", Calgary cops said.

It is believed that the woman victim was targeted because of her online persona. The 25-year-old is in custody in Los Angeles awaiting a handover to Kansas to stand trial for a fatal incident on December 28.

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The woman came out of her home and officers determined that the initial report of a shooting and hostage situation were false.

He was unarmed, but Wichita Police say an officer fired, thinking Finch was reaching for a weapon. Investigators quickly identified a suspect who had made contact online with the victim earlier that day.

Tyler Raj Barriss has been charged with public mischief, fraud and mischief.

He is expected to be extradited to Kansas this month.

In May 2016, Barriss pleaded no contest in a separate case to one felony count each of false report of a bomb to agency or business and malicious informing of false bomb in California. Now police in Calgary, Canada have linked him to a call made in that city on December 22, 2017.

"Swatting calls have the potential to create significant risks for both public and officer safety and can require an extensive amount of resources to respond and investigate", it stated.

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