A suspected "swatter" from California whose fake emergency call allegedly led to a Kansas man’s death last year faces 46 new federal charges for fake reports of bomb threats, shootings and other acts of violence, authorities said.
The charges were filed against Tyler Barriss, 25, of Los Angeles, on Wednesday in the Central District of California. Prosecutors allege Barris called in several false threats to law enforcement agencies between 2014 and 2017 from Los Angeles, the Wichita Eagle reported.
Barriss plans to plead guilty to the charges, according to a signed court document, the paper reported.
Earlier this year, Barriss was charged in connection with a Dec. 28 “swatting” incident in which he allegedly called a false threat to Wichita police that led to the shooting death of Andrew Finch, 28, by a responding officer.
Officers said Finch -- an unsuspecting resident who reportedly had no connection to Barriss -- didn’t comply with commands to keep his hands raised when police arrived at his home because of a fake report that authorities attributed to Barriss. It wasn’t until Finch was dead and officers were inside his home that they realized the call was a hoax.
The officer was not charged in Finch's death.
“Swatting” is when someone makes a call to police with a false story of an ongoing crime to get police or emergency responders to go to the address. The word derives from SWAT, the police acronym for Special (or sometimes Strategic) Weapons and Tactics.
Barriss is currently being held in Kansas. The suspect, who used the Twitter handle @SWAuTistic," told investigators that the Wichita swatting was the result of a dispute over a video game involving a $1.50 bet.
One of the players contacted Barriss because a rival in the game was taunting him. Barriss told police he got the Wichita address from the player who initially contacted him, then followed the other player on Twitter and confirmed the address with him.
Authorities believe Barriss made bomb threats to government buildings, including FBI headquarters. Police in Ohio said Barris was allegedly paid to swat someone in Cincinnati.
Other alleged targets included schools, shopping centers, a museum and television station and other locations in Canada, according to Wired.
The bulk of the alleged crimes occurred during the last four months of 2017 after Burriss was released from a Los Angeles County jail following a two-year stint.
In one incident, Barriss was allegedly paid $30 to swat two people and was offered payment in the form of a Microsoft Xbox and Crypto-currency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.