By: Kyle James | 06-14-2018 | News
Photo credit: Jaime Green/Bo Rader

Kansas - Fatal Swatting Update, Two Gamers Plead Not Guilty

||| Jaime Green/Bo Rader |||

The swatting prank that turned deadly in Witchita Kansas has led to serious charges for those behind the prank call. It all started when two online gamers got into a dispute over a $1.50 Call of Duty WWII video game bet and escalated to the shooting death of an unarmed innocent third-party by a SWAT team member. The two teens behind the dispute are Casey Viner, 18, and Shane Gaskill, 19. Both teens have been charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, wire fraud and more.

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Related coverage: <a href="">Call Of Duty Dispute Leads To Fatal Swatting</a>

The dispute began when Viner became enraged at Gaskill while playing Call of Duty WWII online. That is when the police say that Viner asked 25-year-old Tyler Barriss of Los Angeles to "swat" Gaskill and provided Barriss with an address that he believed Gaskill resided at. Swatting is often used to troll or to get revenge on other gamers and involves calling and reporting a false threat to provoke a police response at the intended target's home.

Upon being commissioned for the crime, Barriss called Wichita police from Los Angeles on December 28. During that call, Barriss told the 911 operator that his father and mother were fighting and he had just used a gun to shoot one of his parents. Police say Barriss researched the address he was given and verified it was a home before making the call. When Gaskill discovered Barriss, who is a known "swatter-for-hire", was following him on Twitter, he began antagonizing Barriss on Twitter and dared him to swat him.

Related coverage: <a href="">Mother Of "Swatting" Victim Wants Officer Charged</a>

The indictment revealed Gaskill said, "Please try some s—. I’ll be waiting." When police arrived at the address Barriss gave them, they surrounded the home with a SWAT team but before they could initiate contact with the residence, a third party opened the front door after hearing the commotion the officers were making outside. The man yelled at police and did not realize what was happening. 28-year-old Andrew Finch who was not involved in the video game dispute raised his arm at one point and a single SWAT officer fired one round striking Finch who collapsed on the porch and succumbed to the injury.

Investigators did not arrest Viner and Gaskill but rather summoned them to court and allowed them to remain free on $10,000 bond each and ordered them to find a job and to not play online video games or have contact with witnesses. The indictment also revealed another message, this one sent by Viner who wrote, "I was involved in someone’s death … I got pissed off at him he got pissed at me .. he gave me his address and said pull up and I said I won’t be the one pulling up you’re getting swatted."

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<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Pictured: Tyler Barriss Credit:</span>

Prosecutors say the charge of making a hoax call carries a potential life sentence because it caused someone's death. Barriss, the man who made the call to police, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, giving a false alarm and interference with a law enforcement officer. He is set to be arraigned on June 29.

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