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Man behind lethal Call of Duty swatting pleads guilty to 51 charges, faces 20-year sentence

By midian182 · 27 replies
Nov 14, 2018
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  1. In December last year, Barriss was arrested over his role in the death of 28-year-old Finch, a father-of-two from Wichita, Kansas. The incident was the result of a $1.50 bet on an online Call of Duty match, in which Finch had no involvement.

    Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill were playing the wagered CoD game, and it was Viner who contacted Barriss asking him to swat his opponent. For those who don’t know, swatting is the act of making a hoax 911 call in the hope it will lead to armed responder turning up at a person's home.

    What Viner didn’t realize is that Gaskill had given him an old address. When police officers arrived at the door responding to what they thought was a hostage situation, they shot and killed new resident Finch, who had no idea what was happening.

    Wichita Police Department Officer Justin Rapp was the one who shot Finch. And while prosecutors refused to press charges, the department is dealing with a civil lawsuit over alleged wrongful death.

    Barriss faces another trial for involuntary manslaughter against Finch on January 7, while alleged co-conspirators Viner and Gaskill, who have pleaded not guilty to their charges, go to court on January 8.

    Barriss has already pleaded guilty to false information and hoaxes, cyberstalking, and conspiracy charges related to the 2017 swatting. Additionally, he’s admitted to making bomb threats against the FCC during the net neutrality repeal vote, a Dallas Convention Center, a Florida high school, and the FBI’s headquarters. He also confessed to other swattings and using people’s credit and debit cards without permission.

    If charged with the separate count of manslaughter, Barriss could see an extra 11 years added to his sentence. He must also pay $5,000 in restitution to help cover Finch’s funeral costs and pay $5,100 in other fees.

    Back in April, Harris got access to the internet while in jail after an improper upgrade to an inmate kiosk was carried out. He tweeted that he was an "eGod" and threatened to swat more people.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Namtrooper

    Namtrooper TS Enthusiast Posts: 51   +26

    It's a shame someone had to lose a life before sentences were handed out.
    Let this be an example to other would-be arsehole swatters.
  3. Nobina

    Nobina TS Evangelist Posts: 1,842   +1,351

    From what I heard the feds knew about his behavior way before but nothing was done about it until the incident happened. He didn't stop threatening people even after the whole debacle, said he doesn't feel sorry or guilty meaning he didn't learn his lesson in which case he can stay locked up forever.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,138   +1,556

    I see Twitter has failed to ban his account.
  5. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,517   +1,724

    This boy killed someone over $1.50, and showed no remorse.

    A waste of human life. Let him rot in some prison the rest of his life.
  6. YudaHnK

    YudaHnK TS Rookie

    Oh snap, this got lively fast!
    Americans don’t liek to get criticized all that much.
    xxLCxx likes this.
  7. ShObiT

    ShObiT TS Maniac Posts: 166   +160

    BBOOOMM!!!! Head Shot!!!
  8. ShObiT

    ShObiT TS Maniac Posts: 166   +160

    Funny part is, they both are right! LMAO.

    (I'm not saying anyone is better than another, cause in Latin America, we barely have a Justice system)
  9. Some people coming down hard on Officer Rapp. Put yourself in his shoes for a moment. He's putting his life on the line answering the call and going in thinking he is part of a team that is going to save hostages. When the metaphorical smoke clears, a father is dead and he pulled the trigger. Officer Rapp may be a father himself, he must be devastated, plus now a civil suit even though prosecutors declined to press charges.
    Blame Viner, Gaskill and that real piece of work Barriss. May he get the 11 extra years added to the 20 years he's already got.
    Morris Minor and J spot like this.
  10. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,712   +2,074

    IMO, they should throw away the key. He's clearly a deranged psychopath with a god complex.
  11. J spot

    J spot TS Maniac Posts: 219   +139

    As you can see from dumb dumb's tweets from jail, he's not normal and extremely immature, and would more than likely do it again if he had the chance. (Has been in trouble with law in the past because of swatting). Now imagine another equivalent out there who's not in jail.

    There have been thousands of swatting incidents, and this is the first time someone was shot dead. Of course if you just focus on the one fatality, then from your perspective it would be 100% of the cases.

    Make a call as graphic and detail as the one this guy made, which I imagine was a lot more serious than your average swatting call, eventually it's going to end bad. It's like climbing skyscrapers for selfies, the people who do it might feel very confident that they won't fall, but like with everything, do it enough times, and many will.
    takemaru, senketsu, ShObiT and 2 others like this.
  12. Rock Dirty

    Rock Dirty TS Rookie

    Got to your room and sharpen the point on your hood, it's a little dull.
  13. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,093   +1,545

    I'm not sure why the Prosecuting Attorney is trying to work a 20-year deal. This guy really needs to go on trial for his laundry list of criminal activities and get the full life-sentence with no parole he deserves.

    Oh, that's right. It's California - the "feel good" state.
    Tonia73986 likes this.
  14. QuantumPhysics

    QuantumPhysics TS Guru Posts: 993   +714

    I'm not sure which is worse:

    #1 The desire of a person to place a prank call on someone - involving the police - which could have lethal consequences...

    #2 Or the knowledge that police training and use of lethal force is so predictable that a false claim/ hoax would be enough to initiate the murder of another human being.

    This murderer should be executed for what he did...but the cops themselves weren't professional either.

    If they came to this man's home over a "hostage situation", then what is it this innocent man could have done to warrant being murdered by the police?

    But time and time again we see the unarmed being shot down by police who "claim" they feared for their lives.
    cliffordcooley and wiyosaya like this.
  15. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,093   +1,545

    I'm guessing you weren't aware that this cretin called 911 claiming to be the gunman who had already murdered two people, was going to murder more and when the cops showed up, he was going to start shooting at them.

    What happened was certainly a tragedy. But based on that 911-call knowledge (and they had no reason to doubt it) - and the frequency of mass shootings these days - trying to second-guess and criticize police for their actions in this type of a situation is less than helpful.

    Bottom line - if Bariss hadn't made this call to begin with, no one would have been hurt. So if you want to assess blame, let's make it the instigator only.
    Tonia73986, m4a4, Namtrooper and 2 others like this.
  16. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,712   +2,074

    I realize that the job of police officer is potentially filled with dangerous situations.

    As I see it, you are completely correct about this. In most cases, all the cop has to do is claim they feared for their lives and the shooting is justified. The cases are rare where that defense is not accepted.

    I do not have in-depth knowledge of the law, but if there are laws in various jurisdictions that enable this, they should be changed, IMO.

    Another part of the problem is the fact that police departments have become increasingly militarized.

    The company I work for had "active shooter" training in the past few months. We were literally told that the current thinking on how to handle an "active shooter" situation is to go in on a search and destroy mission to take out the shooter.

    Along with that, we were told that if it was necessary for any innocent to shelter in place because they could not get out of the building, to be very careful when the police come through on that hunt for the active shooter.

    For me, it is not hard to imagine that innocent people will get killed because of this, and it will take innocent people getting killed for the police to realize that no matter how much adrenaline is flowing in their systems, they need to control that and be beyond doubt if they pull the trigger. IIRC, something like this has recently happened.
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  17. wiyosaya

    wiyosaya TS Evangelist Posts: 3,712   +2,074

    I cannot agree. With all the tech out there, especially things like FLIR that can see heat signatures behind walls, police, in such a situation, should do everything that they possibly do to validate such a claim before going in with guns blazing.

    EDIT: Perhaps if they had checked the caller-id or tried to ping the cell tower, they might have found that the call did not come from the house in question. In addition, if you read the story, the police got the address wrong, too. To me, those are mistakes that added up to an extremely unfortunate consequence.

    I get there was a primary cause - the psychopath swatter - but on top of that, other critical mistakes were made by the police.
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2018
    cliffordcooley likes this.
  18. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    51 Charges? Holy Sh|t! I agree with it all, but did they have to add up 51 charges to make one offense prosecute-able? It is almost as if they have turned prosecuting someone into a game. A game to see how many charges they can hold against someone.
  19. Adorerai

    Adorerai TS Enthusiast Posts: 48   +19

    They aren’t trying to make only 1 offense prosecutable. That’s why there are 51 different ones.
  20. TomSEA

    TomSEA TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 3,093   +1,545

    As info, I am an administrator for a Seattle-area Fire Department, so have a lot of training and background in how shooters are approached.

    First of all, TIC's (Thermal Imaging Cameras) are nowhere near as sophisticated as you believe they are. They don't show detailed, outlines of bodies as you see in the movies. And they are very limited when trying to view behind walls. Firefighters and Police primarily use them to detect fire or extreme-heat related hot spots. In other words, areas that are in the hundreds of degrees, not body temperature.

    And statistics show that 70% of shooters will turn a gun on themselves as soon as they see another gun pointed at them. That's why the effort to confront them with lethal force as quickly as possible.

    Police and Firefighters rely on their contracted 911 services to let them know where calls come from. They don't have "reverse caller I.D." And I can assure you, it's not an exact science. Doesn't make it right in any situation, but I would say that one out of every 10-15 calls we receive are for wrong addresses due to everything from delays in updating 911 systems, wrong addresses given, to simple wrong entries.

    Police and Firefighters are constantly scrutinized and graded internally for their actions, particularly in violent or extreme incidents. Again, it's not helpful when citizens who have no background or training in the area - and are taking at what they see on TV and movies as fact - decide to lend their criticism.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    Well for one, I wouldn't have shot an innocent. I don't have an itchy trigger finger. No one that has an itchy trigger finger should ever wear a badge.

    I will criticize any law official that uses lethal take downs as a first resort. There is no excuse for law enforcement becoming that which they are sworn to protect against. It is as simple as that. Swat is just as guilty as the caller for the man's death.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
  22. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,399   +966

    Or you could understand the situation before you criticize, because you clearly (still) know nothing about it (even though the story's been out for a while).
    You have yet to make a compelling argument that the unfortunate action that Rapp took wasn't the best call with what they knew (and that you know better than the prosecutors).
  23. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 11,208   +4,877

    That is because they did nothing to find out more before assassinating an innocent. I'm not the ignorant one, Swat was! And you keep supporting their stupidity.
  24. Why don't the kill-happy cops shoulder some of the blame?
  25. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,399   +966

    Assassinate? Lol, I can't tell if you're just trolling, or you're being hysterical. But you've provided no facts that support your "argument". Suggesting that police should've known more means nothing when you can't prove they were ignorant.

    And here we see exactly what you're saying TomSEA. Expects action movie level intelligence, and refuses to see that he doesn't understand police or SWAT protocol.
    Tonia73986 likes this.

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