Crime & Courts

Swatting suspect said he’d kill his grandmother if she talked, court filing says

'Swatting' suspect Tyler Barriss won't fight extradition to Kansas

Tyler Barriss, the man accused of making the swatting call that led to a fatal police shooting in Wichita, will be extradited to Kansas. He appeared in an LA courtroom on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.
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Tyler Barriss, the man accused of making the swatting call that led to a fatal police shooting in Wichita, will be extradited to Kansas. He appeared in an LA courtroom on Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018.

After phoning in a false bomb threat to a Glendale, Calif., TV station in 2015, Tyler Barriss threatened to kill his grandmother if she reported him, according to local reports and court documents.

His grandmother, 62, told a California court that he made “constant threats to beat my face bloody,” she wrote in a domestic violence restraining order obtained by The Eagle.

Barriss also made death threats against the woman, along with threats of destruction against her home and dogs, it says. He was ordered to move out of the house they shared — and had to stay 100 yards away from her, her home, her dogs, workplace and vehicle, the order says.

The LA Times reported that the threats were made to prevent the woman from reporting Barriss made the bomb threats.

The order was later dismissed when he and his grandmother both missed a court hearing, the document says.

Now, Barriss is in a jail just north of downtown Los Angeles awaiting extradition to Kansas on a felony warrant tied to a “swatting” call to Wichita authorities Barriss is accused of making.

Barriss was the target of an ongoing Los Angeles Police Departmant investigation into similar hoaxes and had a reputation for helping others gain revenge on online enemies, law enforcement officials told the Los Angeles Times.

LAPD detectives were planning to meet soon with federal prosecutors to discuss their investigation into whether Barriss was responsible for several so-called “swatting” calls and similar hoaxes that drew large police responses in the past year, said Deputy Chief Horace Frank, who oversees the LAPD’s counterterrorism and special operations bureau. He declined to identify the incidents.

Related stories: Swatter was still talking to 911 at least 16 minutes after Wichita man was shot | ‘Swatting’ suspect Tyler Barriss waives extradition to Kansas | ‘Please let me see my son’s lifeless body,’ mother of fatal swatting victim begs city

The Wichita call, made the evening of Dec. 28, sent police to 28-year-old Andrew Finch’s home on West McCormick. An officer would eventually shoot and kill Finch after he kept lowering his arms by his waist despite being told to keep them up, police said. When he suddenly raised them toward officers he was facing, an officer standing in a driveway across the street fired, police said.

Barriss allegedly made the call after being requested to by someone who was participating in a Call of Duty online game. Two gamers began feuding after one virtually killed the other in friendly fire, according to reports.

Barriss reportedly was not involved in the game. Neither was Finch, whose family said didn’t game.

Soon after making the call, a Twitter user with the name @SWAuTistic tweeted that the house he swatted was on the news. It wasn’t the first time @SWAuTistic made a false threat, then waited to see if it ended up on TV, according to an interview a man claiming to be him had with YouTuber Daniel Keem on the DramaAlert channel.

The man told the Keem that he interrupted an MLG Call of Duty event in Dallas in early December by calling in a fake bomb threat. He also claimed to have made bomb threats to high schools across the country — all while he was hanging out somewhere in Los Angeles.

He said he prefers “evacuating” places to “swatting” to see if the evacuations end up on the news.

Glendale police told ABC News that Barriss is suspected of making at least 20 false bomb threats before he was caught for making a false bomb threat to KABC-TV in Glendale twice in 2015.

The studio was evacuated. He pleaded guilty to two felony counts of making a bomb threat and was sentenced to two years and eight months in jail. He was released in January 2017. He was arrested again for violating a protective order and was released last August.

Wichita police have said the swatter used a spoofed number to call Wichita’s City Hall at 6:10 p.m. on Dec. 28. He reported to an officer who answered the phone that he had gotten into an argument with his mother. The officer attempted to transfer the call to dispatch, but was unsuccessful until 6:18 p.m., police said.

That’s when Barriss is accused of saying that he was inside the West McCormick home and had shot his father in the head and was holding his mother and a sibling hostage.

It was only after Finch was killed that police realized the call was faked.

Contributing: Los Angeles Times

Nichole Manna: 316-269-6752, @NicholeManna

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