Tyler Barriss was arrested Friday in California on suspicion of making a false report to police that led police to a Wichita home, where an officer fatally shot an innocent man.
Barriss, 25, was also charged with making false reports to police in 2015, according to the Los Angeles Times. He allegedly called an ABC affiliate in Glendale, Calif., and said there were “multiple” bombs inside.
The station was evacuated in response.
The threats were made on two separate occasions, and Barriss allegedly threatened a relative to keep her from reporting him, the Times reported.
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He was charged with two felony counts of making a false report of a bomb and pleaded not guilty.
On Thursday, Wichita police reportedly received a fabricated report that someone had shot a man and was holding others hostage in a Wichita home.
“That was the information we were working off of,” said Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston, explaining that officers went to the house ready for a hostage situation and they “got into position.”
An officer then fatally shot Andrew Finch as he stood in the entrance to the home. Police have said officers feared Finch had drawn a weapon.
The online gaming community and media reports point to a $1 or $2 Call of Duty wager gone wrong as the reason for the false report to police, also known as “swatting.”
Finch was not involved in the game.
He was a father of two children.
Barriss was reportedly arrested about 3:15 p.m. Friday by Los Angeles police on suspicion of making the swatting call.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department records show he is being held without bond. His charge level is listed as a felony.
“The irresponsible acts of a prankster put people’s lives at risk,” said Livingston, the deputy Wichita chief. “The incident is a nightmare for everyone involved. ... Due to the action of a prankster, we have an innocent victim. If the false police call had not been made, we would not have been there.”
Lisa Finch, Finch’s mother, said, “What gives the cops the right to open fire? ... That cop murdered my son over a false report.”