It’s truly a sad experience when the violence of a video game makes its way into the real world. Such was the case when CoD gamer Tyler Barris who swatted fellow player Andrew Finch. The mislead police raid of Finch’s address resulted in his death after police opened fire due to supposed non-compliance. By pleading guilty, Barris will subject himself to 46 federal charges.
For those who are unfamiliar with swatting, the act refers to when the police are misinformed of a major crime. And the address of the intended victim is given to them as a target to raid. Which results in either death, injury or a traumatic experience. It’s a criminal act and is punishable by the law, which was the case here. Barris along with two other suspects: Shane M. Gaskill and Casey Viner were also charged.
The false threat given to the police by the suspect involved homicide and hostage-taking. Hence the strong response from the authorities and unfortunate death of Andrew Finch. Who was only proven innocent after the situation was over. Officer Justin Rapp of the Witchita police department who shot and killed Finch will not be charged.
After a disagreement over gameplay, involving an accidental death in game, Viner was alleged of asking Bariss to swat Gaskill at an address given which was 1033 W. McCormick. Evidently, this was the wrong address and even provoked taunting from Gaskill, directed at Barris.
This wasn’t Barris’ first time swatting or engaging in this dangerous version of the boy who cried wolf either. In the past, he’s also swatted Viner, who had later asked him to swat Gaskill. Barris has also posted fake bomb threats against government buildings before. It came to a point that even his social title he used was “Swautistic”. Insensitive much?
This isn’t the first case of swatting that’s happened in a long time either. And measures have started being taken to counter swatting which you can read more about here. Swatting gives a bad image to gamers and reinforces the notorious belief of video games provoking actual violence. So we all would definitely like to see it stop.