A 25-year-old man was in a Los Angeles jail on Saturday in connection with a prank call that resulted in the shooting death of an unarmed man by a Kansas police officer at a home where the caller said hostages were being held, authorities and media reports said.
The arrest of Tyler Barriss, reported by KABC-TV, followed the killing of a 28-year-old man as he stood at the front door to his Wichita home on Thursday evening. Police shot the Kansas man minutes after arriving at the residence in response to the hoax call, said Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston, describing the event “as a tragic and senseless act.”
Authorities described the case as an example of “swatting,” in which a caller falsely reports an emergency that requires a police response, usually by Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT, teams.
Barriss was being held without bond in the Los Angeles County jail system on Saturday, a county database showed. It listed no legal representation for him. Police and jail officials did not immediately return calls seeking confirmation.
Wichita police on Friday released a recording of the 911 call in question. The voice of a man could be heard saying that his parents had been arguing. “I shot him in the head, and he’s not breathing anymore,” the voice said, referring to the father. The man then told the 911 operator that he was holding a handgun on his mother and little sister, had doused the house with gasoline and was thinking of torching it.
‘How does it feel to be a murderer?’
Following the call, Wichita police officers surrounded a house on the city’s west side, Livingston said.
“A 28-year-old male opened the front screen door and stood in the doorway or just outside that doorway,” he said. “Officers gave him several verbal commands to put his hands up and walk toward them.”
A police officer shot once after the man quickly raised his hands and appeared to point a weapon at the officers, Livingston said. Police found no one dead, injured or taken hostage inside the house, he said.
Family members told the Wichita Eagle newspaper that Andrew Finch, a father of two, was the man killed.
“The person who made the phone call took my nephew … two kids’ father,” Finch’s aunt, Lorrie Hernandez-Caballero, told the paper. “How does it feel to be a murderer? I can’t believe people do this on purpose.”