Suspect in fatal Kansas hoax call pleads guilty

'Call of Duty swatter' Tyler Barriss pleads guilty to 51 federal charges, receives sentence

Tyler R. Barriss, 26, admitted to making the false report resulting in a death, as well as cyberstalking and conspiracy related to the deadly swatting calls in Kansas.

Image: Tyler Barriss admitted 51 charges. "His reasons were trivial and his disregard for the safety of other people was staggering".

Barriss admitted in his plea that he was asked by 18-year-old Casey Viner of OH to "swat" Shane Gaskill, 20, of Kansas, after the two became embroiled in a dispute over a $1.50 wager on a Call of Duty match. Alongside manslaughter, he has also pled guilty to 46 additional charges introduced two weeks ago, including cyberstalking, interstate threats, and conspiracy. A man who came outside to face police, however, had done nothing wrong and did not know about the swatting call.

As well as 'fessing up in the Wichita case, Barriss entered guilty pleas to a staggering 46 counts brought by the Middle District of California, over false bomb threats all over the U.S., and in the District of Colombia for making false bomb threats against the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the FCC.

In addition, Barriss admitted to having made hoax bomb threats to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, schools, universities, shopping malls and TV stations among other crimes. He called from Los Angeles to emergency numbers in Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Utah, Virginia, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York, Michigan, Florida and Canada. Gaskill challenged Viner to swat him, giving him the address of a house his family was evicted from in 2016.

The other two gamers involved in the affair - Casey Viner, 18, from OH, and Shane Gaskill, 20, from Wichita - deny the charges against them and are awaiting trial.

Barriss is accused of calling Wichita police from Los Angeles on December 28, 2017, to report a shooting and kidnapping at a Wichita address.

On discovering this, the intended target is said to have claimed he was living at an address he had in fact moved out of and went on to dare Barriss to send the police there.

The plea deal still has to be accepted by a judge: Sentencing is set to take place on January 30. "I'll be waiting", Gaskill wrote in the direct messages cited in the indictment.

When he unexpectedly dropped his hands, the 28-year-old was shot and killed, according to the US Department of Justice.

It is unclear what will become of separate state charges. When police officers arrived at the door responding to what they thought was a hostage situation, they shot and killed new resident Finch, who had no idea what was happening.

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