The infamous Call of Duty “swatter” Tyler Barriss is finally getting his just deserts for his crimes. Today he pleaded guilty to an astonishing 51 charges. This includes making a false report that ultimately led to the death of an innocent victim last December and bomb threats in the United States and Canada. He will be finally sentenced on Jan. 30, 2019 and could face at least 20 years in prison for his crimes. He is also facing other charges, such as when he took to Twitter taking credit for the bomb threats made to the Dallas Convention Center, a Florida high school, etc. Barris has also been charged with involuntary manslaughter, about which he will be tried on Jan. 7 in the death involving Andrew Finch in December 2017.
What is swatting?
It is basically calling 911 in an attempt to harass someone by falsely telling law enforcement that a serious crime is going on at that person’s home (bomb threat, hostage situation, murder, etc.). This is a tactic that has been used by some gamers who don’t like losing when it comes to playing online and use this as a way to get even. It wastes valuable emergency resources and can have some pretty serious consequences.
The December incident
In December 2017, Barriss and his two alleged conspirators, Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill (who pleaded not guilty), were in a pretty heated argument over a game of Call of Duty between Viner and Gaskill. Viner dared Barris to “swatt” Gaskill. What he didn’t know at the time was that Gaskill didn’t live at the address he provided during the 911 call. It was an old address. When the current resident, Finch, opened his door to find law enforcement face to face to him and not knowing why, an officer shot him and he was killed. Just an innocent bystander in this sick game.
It is safe to say Barriss is getting far more than a slap on the wrist and will ultimately face some prison time. We will bring updates on what his sentence will be come January. Let this be a warning to all would be “swatters” that your prank comes with real-world consequences.