A 25-year-old Los Angeles man suspected of making a hoax emergency call that led to the fatal police shooting of a Kansas man last month has been charged with making a similar prank call to police in Canada.
Police in Calgary on Tuesday announced that they had charged Barriss in a similar "SWATting" call December 22.
He's accused of calling authorities on December 22 and claiming that he had shot his father and was holding his mother and younger brother hostage, the release said.
Calgary tactical officers descended on the neighborhood of the address the caller gave, evacuating the surrounding area before a woman at the home also called police to warn them she believed she was target of a fake call created to produce a massive police response. While officers were on scene, 911 received another call from a woman at the residence who believed she was the victim of swatting. The woman exited the home and officers confirmed the initial report of a shooting and hostage situation was false, police said.
During this incident, a substantial amount of police resources were required to contain the scene and protect the safety of citizens.
According to experts on technology, swatters may choose their victims at random or the attack may be in response to what the offender believes to be an online slight. Calgary Police's cyber/forensics unit identified Barriss as the suspect, as he had been in contact with the woman earlier that day.
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The goal of "swatting" is to get a SWAT team to respond to a hoax call.
Police and the FBI are investigating whether that prank call was prompted by an online gaming dispute, according to The Associated Press.
In that case, Wichita police responded to a home after a man called 911 and said he had shot his father, was holding a gun to his mother and sister and had doused the home in gasoline and was considering setting it alight. After a brief exchange, Finch was shot after moving his hands toward his waistband, Wichita police said.
Tyler Raj Barriss has been charged with public mischief, fraud and mischief.