Tragedy again strikes the family of swatting victim Andrew Finch

Tragedy has struck again in the family of Andrew Finch, the man shot to death by Wichita police in an instance of swatting a year ago.

Finch’s niece, Adelina Finch, 18, shot herself in her south Wichita apartment late Wednesday, according to Lisa Finch, Andrew’s mother and Adelina’s grandmother. On Thursday, she was in intensive care at a local hospital and not expected to survive, Lisa Finch said.


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Lisa Finch said she blames her granddaughter’s suicide attempt on the events of Dec. 28, 2017, when Andrew Finch, 28, was shot to death by Wichita Police Officer Justin Rapp, one of several officers responding to a fake call of a murder/hostage situation at the Finch home.

“Because Adelina was made to step over his dying body and she had to hear him breathe,” Lisa Finch said. “And she’s been going downhill ever since. She didn’t know how to handle it.”

Adelina, 17 at the time of the shooting, lived with Lisa and Andrew Finch.

She was raised by them after her mother, Lisa Finch’s daughter Adrianne, died in a car accident in October 2002 and Lisa Finch was named guardian.

“She (Adelina) has internalized everything,” Lisa Finch said. “If somebody even mentions Andy’s name, she withdraws and walks out of the room. She has not been able to deal with it. I guess this was the way she was dealing with it.”

The Wichita Police Department would not directly address Lisa Finch’s comments but issued a statement saying the department “offers its deepest sympathies to those involved.”

The shooting occurred while Adelina was alone for about an hour in an apartment near 31st South and Seneca that she shared with her boyfriend, said Ann Jones, a close friend and advocate for the Finch family.

Adelina Finch has been a certified nursing assistant and wanted to get more education to become a registered nurse, Jones said.

The false call that led to Andrew Finch’s death a year ago drew national attention as the first documented fatal case of swatting, a hoax designed to provoke a special weapons and tactics (or SWAT) team response to a nonexistent incident.

The swatting stemmed from a dispute over a $1.50 wager on an online game of Call of Duty. No one in the Finch family had anything to do with the disputed game, but police were given their address because it was the former home of one of the gamers.

The officer who fired the fatal shot was cleared of any criminal charges in the case by District Attorney Marc Bennett.

A civil lawsuit filed by the family against the city of Wichita and the Police Department is ongoing.

Contributing: Tim Potter of The Eagle

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Senior Journalist Dion Lefler has been providing award-winning coverage of local government, politics and business in Wichita for 20 years. Dion hails from Los Angeles, where he worked for the LA Daily News, the Pasadena Star-News and other papers. He’s a father of twins, director of lay servant ministries in the United Methodist Church and plays second base for the Old Cowtown vintage baseball team.