The Los Angeles man at the center of what is believed to be the first fatal “swatting” incident in the U.S. has been charged with manslaughter in connection with a hoax phone call that led to a deadly shooting in Kansas, records show.
Tyler Rai Barriss, 25, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and interference with law enforcement, according to court records made public Friday.
Authorities allege that a dispute over an online video game led Barriss to call a Wichita, Kan., police dispatcher and falsely claim that he had shot his father and was holding two other people hostage inside a Wichita home on Dec. 28.
Barriss had a reputation for helping people gain revenge against online enemies and gaming opponents through swatting — placing a hoax phone call about a dangerous situation in order to trigger a massive police response at an address to frighten its occupants.
The Los Angeles Police Department was investigating Barriss on allegations that he made similar calls in late 2017, and had planned a meeting with federal prosecutors before arresting the 25-year-old in connection with the Kansas incident.