Crime & Courts

Family of gamer who allegedly gave address to swatter used to live at 1033 W. McCormick

Wichita police investigate a call of a possible hostage situation near the corner of McCormick and Seneca Thursday night. A man was fatally shot by a police officer in what is believed to be a gaming prank called "swatting."
Wichita police investigate a call of a possible hostage situation near the corner of McCormick and Seneca Thursday night. A man was fatally shot by a police officer in what is believed to be a gaming prank called "swatting." The Wichita Eagle

The family of the gamer who allegedly gave Andrew Finch’s address to a well-known “swatter” in California used to live at the West McCormick house where a Wichita police officer shot and killed Finch on Dec. 28.

Court documents released last week say Shane Gaskill of Wichita provided 1033 W. McCormick as his own address during a feud with another gamer earlier that day.

The family of Gaskill — known online as 7ALENT and MIRUHCLE — lived at the address for about three years, until the family was evicted in 2016, according to court documents and other sources.

The connection provides some insight as to why that address was given.

Finch was not involved in the video game and was shot by a police officer when he opened the door to his home. Police have said he ignored commands to raise his hands, and had lowered them to his waist multiple times.

Tyler Barriss has been charged with involuntary manslaughter for allegedly calling Wichita police with the fake a report of a hostage station and homicide at 1033 W. McCormick.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, the situation started when Gaskill accidentally shot and killed his teammate, Casey Viner of North College Hill, Ohio, while they played an online Call of Duty match. Viner became “extremely upset” and began talking trash to Gaskill

Viner then threatened via Twitter to “swat” Gaskill.

Gaskill replied, “Please try some s---.”

He then posted the address 1033 W. McCormick in Wichita.

Viner is accused of calling Barriss, who was in Los Angeles, to ask him to “swat” the house.

In an interview with the YouTube Channel, DramaAlert, Barris said, “I was minding my own business at the library and someone contacted me and said, ‘Hey dude, this (expletive) just gave me an address and he thinks nothing is going to happen, do you want to prove him wrong?’ And I said, ‘Sure, I love swatting kids who think nothing is going to happen.’”

“Swatting” is the term used when 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 an address. Swatting has gained traction across the country with online gamers.

Attempts to reach Gaskill and Viner weren’t successful on Tuesday.

Nichole Manna: 316-269-6752, @NicholeManna

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