WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Police have arrested 25-year-old Tyler Barris of Los Angeles after he allegedly made a prank call that led to the death of a Wichita man. KSN has not heard from authorities on when Barris will be extradited to Kansas to face charges but he is expected to make a court appearance in California tomorrow.
Andrew Finch died after an officer shot him in response to a swatting call. Monday KSN spoke with a man who was there the night Finch was shot and killed.
“It’s terrifying,” said witness, Tyler Harris. “You hear about it; you just take it lightly because you don’t think it could happen to you and it happened here. It could happen to anyone.”
Tyler Harris isn’t just a witness to the swatting incident, he’s also a gamer. So the news of a man dying in response to a gaming prank hit him pretty hard. Harris says he now feels compelled to speak about how this experience has made him more caution to online gaming.
“I can hear the cops yelling something, ‘Come out with your hands up!’ Oh Dude – they have guns!”
Tyler showed KSN a video clip he took the night Finch was shot. He said he and other cars stopped and parked once they noticed over 15 police units surrounding the area.
“You can hear the officers yelling and saying come out with your hands up,” he explained. “Next thing you know, they’re shining spotlights at the house, and they all run up. It’s K9’s and you see them drag the body out and load it into the ambulance and see them escort out the victim’s family out.”
Harris says he was shocked to see the series of events unfold right in front of his camera phone. Now, he’s questioning how the swatting incident will impact the gaming community.
“It’s probably going to cause a lot of stir up for parents and letting their kids play video games,” he said. “It’s not always video games, but it definitely takes a toll on how you play and who you play with. Caution. When started gaming, it was just fun, and now, it’s turning into something lethal.”
This experience has given Harris a new perspective and he says he hopes the gaming community takes notice of this tragedy.
“It’s awful. It’s a terrible way to get attention and a terrible reputation to bring to the gaming community. It’s not funny. It’s not fun to watch. It doesn’t bring any joy to anyone, just pain.”
The family of the man shot did speak to KSN after the suspect was arrested. They tell us that they are pleased that an arrest was made in connection with their loved one but the arrest doesn’t bring him back. KSN will continue to keep you updated as the story develops.