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Arnold bomb threat, Kansas police shooting have possible tie [[WITH AUDIO]]
which covers all of Kansas, said the agency joined in the investigation at the request of local police. In other cases of apparent swatting, three families in Florida in January had to evacuate their homes after a detective received an anonymous email ...
The alleged caller is a gamer from Los Angeles known for making false threats.
ZACK McDONALD News Herald Reporter @PCNHzack
PANAMA CITY BEACH — The Twitter account of a man in custody for an alleged prank call in Kansas that turned into a deadly police shooting has, through earlier tweets, been connected to a bomb threat last month at Arnold High School.Tyler Raj Barriss, 25, of Los Angeles was arrested Friday in connection with an officer-involved shooting a day earlier that killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch of Wichita, KansasAuthorities said a prank call — commonly referred to as “swatting” — led to the deadly confrontation with police after Barriss and another man had an online argument over a video game.As authorities look into what charges Barriss should face for allegedly making the false report over state lines that led to Finch’s death, connections have arisen between Barriss and his alleged online persona’s claims of responsibility for the Nov28 bomb threat at Arnold High School.Panama City Beach Police Department officials have yet to confirm whether they are investigating ties between the Wichita shooting and the bomb threat on Arnold, 550 Alf Coleman RoadHowever, Barriss, under the Twitter handle @SWAuTistic, has a criminal history of “swatting” — a prank notorious in the gaming community that involves phoning police with a bogus story in hopes of drawing hordes of first responders to a particular addressCourt records show Barriss was convicted in 2016 on two counts of making a false bomb report to a TV station in Glendale, California, and sent to Los Angeles County jail for two yearsJail records show he was released in January.Brian Krebs, a longtime investigative reporter and operator of KrebsOnSecurity.com, first reported the possible ties between the Wichita shooting and Barriss’ other swatting events, including the threat at ArnoldThe Twitter account since has been taken down, but Krebs on Saturday shared tweets with The News Herald copied from the @SWAuTistic account.In a series of tweets Nov28, @SWAuTistic, with an account name of “Infamy the Lord,” boasts that he played a role in the bomb threat that rattled local parents, students and school officials.“Arnold High; Evacuated,” @SWAuTistic posted at 6:42 p.m., after news of the bomb threat had rippled through Bay County“Early release thanks to Infamy.”The account then retweets a Bay District Schools tweet announcing the evacuation to the public, followed by a News Herald tweet linking to a report on the outcome of the bogus threat. Authorities said Thursday evening, @SWAuTistic became involved in an online argument over a “Call of Duty” match in which about $1.50 had been wageredAfter both sides threatened to “SWAT” one another, the other player, @7aLeNT, provided a phony address, which turned out to be Finch’s.In audio of the 911 call played by the Wichita Police Department at a news conference Friday, the caller says he shot his father in the head and that he is holding his mother and a sibling at gunpointThe caller, speaking with relative calm, also says he poured gasoline inside the home “and I might just set it on fire.”Officers subsequently surrounded the home at the address the caller provided and prepared for a hostage situationWhen Finch went to the door, police told him to put his hands up and move slowly.But Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said Finch moved a hand toward his waistband — a common place where guns are concealedAn officer, fearing Finch was reaching for a gun, fired a single shotFinch died a few minutes later at a hospitalLivingston said Finch was unarmed.The officer, a seven-year veteran of the department, is on paid leave pending the investigation.Lisa Finch on Friday told reporters “that cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place.”In addition to the 911 call, police also released a brief video of body camera footage from another officer at the sceneIt was difficult to see clearly what happened.As the shooting reached news outlets, @SWAuTistic was quick to affirm his role.“That kids house that I swatted is on the news,” the account posted Thursday night“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION.”@SWAuTistic changed its Twitter handle shortly afterward, but not before Krebs collected several weeks’ worth of posts leading up to the fatal shooting, in which the operator took credit for hoaxes perpetrated on the U.SFederal Communications Commission, a Dallas Convention Center and the bomb threat at Arnold High.At the time of the Arnold High threat, PCBPD reported that the threats of multiple bombs on the campus and a planned assault on students had originated from CaliforniaOfficials never announced the names of possible suspects in the case.Barriss was arrested Friday in Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles and Wichita police departmentsOfficer Paul Cruz, a spokesman for the Wichita police, said the two city police departments are working with the FBI on the case, but provided no further details including on possible charges or extradition.Lisa Finch said her son was not even a gamerIt is unknown whether Finch had any connection with any of the gamers or why his address was provided.The FBI estimates 400 cases of swatting occur annually, with some using caller ID spoofing to disguise their numberAn FBI supervisor in Kansas City, Missouri, which covers all of Kansas, said the agency joined in the investigation at the request of local police.In other cases of apparent swatting, three families in Florida in January had to evacuate their homes after a detective received an anonymous email claiming bombs had been placed at the address.Heather Hollingsworth and Michael Balsamo of The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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