The family of a man who was fatally shot by a Wichita police officer responding to what turned out to be a fake call about a homicide and hostage situation has created a GoFundMe for his funeral expenses.
Andrew “Andy” Finch, 28, had two children — ages 2 and 7 — his mother, Lisa, said. A candlelight vigil is planned for 5 p.m. Saturday in front of 1033 W. McCormick, the site of the shooting, according to a Facebook event post.
Finch had been the unintended victim of a swatting call to Wichita police. On Friday afternoon, Los Angeles police arrested 25-year-old Tyler Barriss on suspicion of making the false call, according to KABC.
Swatting is an internet hoax where someone makes a call to a police department with a false story of an ongoing crime — often involving killing or hostages — in an attempt to draw a large number of police officers to a particular address.
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In this case, the caller told Wichita 911 that he had shot his father in the head and was holding his mother and a sibling hostage. He gave 911 Finch’s address, acted as if he was in the house, and told the dispatcher that he had a gun and he was not going to put it down.
Gamers who have reached out to The Eagle said the call began with a feud over a Call of Duty match between two players. Finch was not involved in the game, they said. Lisa Finch said her son didn’t play video games.
Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston said officers went to 1033 W. McCormick just after 6:15 p.m. Thursday and prepared for a hostage situation.
After noticing the red and blue lights outside, Lisa Finch said, her son opened the door to see what was happening.
As he stepped outside, police gave Finch commands to raise his hands and walk toward them, Livingston said. He did for a short period of time, then lowered them, Livingston said. Finch was asked again to raise his hands.
“The male then turned towards the officers on the east side of the residence, lowered his hands to the waistband again, then suddenly pulled them back up towards those officers at the east,” Livingston said. “The officers on the north side of the street feared the male pulled a weapon from his waistband, retrieved a gun and was in the process of pointing it at the officers to the east. Fearing for those officers’ safety, the officer on the north side fired one round.”
Lisa Finch and Livingston both said Finch was unarmed.
Finch is from Virginia and the family moved to Wichita in the mid-1990s. He was a gifted student who loved art, Lisa Finch said.
“He would draw any picture,” she said. “He would do anything for his family.”
The GoFundMe can be found at gofundme.com/funeral-expenses-for-andy-finch.