As police converged on a house at 1033 W. McCormick, a caller pretending that he had killed his father and was holding others hostage was still on the phone with 911.
By the time police discovered the 911 call was false, Andrew “Andy” Finch was dead, shot after he answered his front door. Police have said the officer fired after seeing Finch raise then drop his hands near his waistband. Finch was unarmed.
It was a fatal example of “swatting,” when someone makes a false call to 911 to try to draw a large number of police to an area.
Online gamers said a dispute had developed between two Call of Duty players and that one had given a false address that was then “swatted” when a man called Wichita City Hall’s security desk Thursday evening. Finch was not a gamer and not involved.
Wichita deputy chief Troy Livingston said in a Facebook video Friday that the caller continued speaking with 911 after officers had arrived at the house.
The department would not answer questions Wednesday about when Finch was given the first verbal command or when the 911 call ended. The Sedgwick County Department of Emergency Communications denied an open records request pertaining to the 911 call that could have provided more details on how events unfolded. The county said the police department had asked that no additional records be released.
“It is still an active investigation and has been presented to the District Attorney’s Office,” police department spokesman Charley Davidson said in an email. “This is all the information we are releasing at this time.”
Davidson also would not answer whether officers at the scene were aware that the caller was still on the phone with 911.
Asked why Finch was shot on the porch while apparently not holding a phone while the hoax caller was talking to a 911 dispatcher, Wichita Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Tuesday evening that was a difficult question to answer.
“Unfortunately we don’t have telepathy yet,” he added.
Here’s a breakdown of when events occurred.
3:52 p.m. Thursday: Screenshots show a Twitter user giving the 1033 W. McCormick address to the user of the Twitter account called @SWAuTistic, threatening the other Twitter user to “try some (expletive).”
6:10: The downtown security officer at City Hall receives the first of several calls from a local area code with a man saying that his father had been hit over the head with a handgun. The officer attempts to transfer the calls to 911 over the next few minutes.
6:18: 911 Dispatch receives the transfer from the downtown security officer.
6:18: The caller tells 911 that he shot his dad in the head and his father is no longer breathing. The caller gives his address as 1033 W. McCormick St.
6:19: Initial officers are dispatched to 1033 W. McCormick St.
6:19: The caller tells 911 that he is holding his mother and brother at gunpoint in a closet.
6:22: The first officer arrives in the area and waits for additional officers to assist
6:22: The caller tells 911 he didn’t mean to kill his father.
6:23: The caller says he wants to kill himself and light the house on fire.
Time unknown: Andrew “Andy” Finch opens the door of 1033 W. McCormick. Officers say he was given several verbal commands to put his hands up and walk toward them, complied for a short time, then put his hands back down to his waist. He turned toward 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.
6:28 p.m. (Police had previously reported 6:43 and 6:46, but made a correction Friday): An officer on the north side of the house shoots Andrew Finch with one round.
Time unknown: Officers remove four people from the house, search it and find no hostages.
6:41: The caller tells 911 he has a black handgun.
6:42: The caller says he is by his mother’s closet.
6:43: The caller says he has his mother and brother at gunpoint and won’t put the gun away.
6:44: The caller says he has poured gasoline all over the house and is thinking of lighting it.
7:03 p.m.: Finch is pronounced dead at a hospital.
7:34 p.m.: @SWAuTistic tweets, “That kids house that I swatted is on the news.”
9:14 p.m.: @SWAuTistic tweets, “I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION.”
Friday afternoon: Los Angeles police arrest Tyler R. Barriss, 25.
Contributing: Tim Potter of The Eagle