Crime & Courts

‘Swatting’ suspect Tyler Barriss waives extradition to Kansas

The California man accused of making the swatting call that ended in a Wichita police officer fatally shooting a man will be brought to Kansas.

Tyler Barriss, 25, waived his right to extradition during a hearing in downtown Los Angeles on Wednesday morning.

The hearing lasted just minutes.

Asked by Judge Deborah S. Brazil if he was the man wanted by Kansas authorities, Barriss said yes.

He kept his head down for most of the hearing.

But before his name was called, Barriss was held behind a glass wall with two sheriff’s deputies watching his back. He wore a hooded black sweatshirt. His hands were cuffed in front of him.

He bopped his head as if he was listening to music, and talked to his court-appointed attorney, Mearl Lottman, for about 15 minutes.

A fugitive-from-justice warrant filed by Los Angeles County prosecutors says Barriss was charged in Kansas on Dec. 29 with the felony of making a false alarm. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett, in an e-mailed statement Wednesday afternoon, said now the sheriff’s offices in both states will arrange for Barriss’ travel to Kansas. That should happened within the next two to three weeks, Bennett said.

More information on the charges Barriss is facing will be disclosed publicly when he makes a first appearance in court in Wichita.

Barriss remains in jail in Los Angeles with no bond.

He had been held at the 77th Street Precinct Jail in South Los Angeles following his arrest Friday afternoon – less than 24 hours after the call was made. Los Angeles police haven’t said where Barriss was found, but said he was arrested in South Los Angeles.

Paul Eakins, spokesman for the Los Angeles district attorney, said the charges will be determined by the Kansas district attorney.

“We’re just here for extradition,” he said after the hearing.

Barriss is accused of reporting a fake homicide and hostage situation to the Wichita Police Department just after 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 28.

Reports say Barriss was called by someone after a feud between two Call of Duty players broke out over a virtual “friendly kill” during a game earlier that day. There was a $1.50 wager over the game.

One of the players allegedly called Barriss and requested he “swat” another player. A man claiming he was responsible for the swatting said he was given an address on McCormick Street by another player, he said during an interview with the DramaAlert channel on YouTube.

Swatting is the term when someone calls police with a fake story of a serious ongoing crime – like a killing, hostage situation or bomb threat – in an effort to draw a large police presence to an address. It has gained traction in recent years among online gamers.

Police went to the address, expecting to find a homicide victim and two hostages. Instead, Andrew Finch, 28, opened his front door when he saw police lights outside and didn’t know why. Wichita police say he was given commands to keep his hands raised, but he reached toward his waistline multiple times.

When he reached his hands up suddenly, police say a officer who was standing in a driveway across the street from Finch shot him.

RELATED STORIES: What charges could the suspect face in swatting hoax that ended in death? | Wichita swatting death should spur Congress to act, lawmakers say | Police release ‘swatting’ call, video of man being shot to death as a result of hoax | Call of Duty gaming community points to ‘swatting’ in deadly Wichita police shooting | Family: Man killed in swatting call was ‘trying really hard,’ overcoming tough life

Contributing: Kaitlyn Alanis and Amy Renee Leiker of The Eagle; Associated Press

Nichole Manna: 316-269-6752, @NicholeManna

Related stories from Wichita Eagle