What just happened? Another person involved in the swatting incident that resulted in the death of a man has been sentenced to 15 months in prison. He will also be banned from online games for two years after his release and must pay $2,500 in restitution.
Back in December 2017, what’s thought to have been the first-ever swatting-related fatality took place. It began with a $1.50 wager on a Call of Duty: WWII match, which saw Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill playing on the same team when an argument about friendly fire started. Viner threatened to swat Gaskill, but Gaskill dared him to try it and even provided an address, though it was from a previous home.
Viner contacted Tyler Barriss—known online as “SWAuTistic”—and provided the address he thought was Gaskill’s. Barriss called the Kansas police and informed them that a domestic dispute incident was taking place at the West McCormick Street address. He told the 911 dispatcher that he had shot his father in the head and was holding his mother, brother, and sister hostage. He also threatened to burn the house down.
When police arrived at the address, it was an unsuspecting Andy Finch, a 28-year-old father-of-two, who answered. Finch was ordered to put his arms in the air but instead moved a hand toward his waistband. One officer, convinced that he was reaching for a gun, fired a single round. Finch died within minutes.
Fifteen months later, Barriss, who made the fatal call, was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to 51 charges. Now Viner, who originally pleaded not guilty but agreed to guilty pleas of conspiracy and obstructing justice in April, has been given a 15-month prison sentence. He will also serve two months "supervised release" once his sentence is complete, during which time he will be prohibited from playing online games.
Both Barriss and Gaskill were charged as co-conspirators to the crime. Gaskill has made a deal for “deferred prosecution,” which could see the charges dropped. And while the officer who shot Finch has not been charged, the victim’s family has launched a civil suit.