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Reason First: Can 'Swatting' Lead to Murder?

A young male's intended prank becomes deadly.

Special Weapons and Tactics Team

It’s all fun and games until someone is gunned down on their own property. In the vicious would be prank known as “swatting,” or calling false emergencies on other people’s homes, a male named Tyler Barriss heard the sentencing by the judge for up to twenty years in prison for manslaughter among other charges.

Man sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in deadly 'swatting' case.

While some may feel that it is a humorous joke, an innocent man, Andrew Finch, 28, received a bullet that ended his life on behalf of the police. Based on the gaming industry and more precisely for Barriss after playing the game Call of Duty, he concocted a scheme to prey upon a random person thousands of miles away. Now, this points to a generation whose virtues and values seem to be in complete disarray. For Barriss to engage in such activity, that cost him his freedom is a reminder of the cult of the irrational that has plagued not only this crop of youths, but individuals from decades past.

Swatter Tyler Barriss sneaks onto Twitter from jail, proves he's a monster.

The police officer who shot Finch is only partially the real culprit in this case. For once it is the irresponsibility of that Barriss exhibited that is really to blame. This is a real conundrum of events. The officer who shot Finch is on paid leave while Barris is going to spend twenty years of his life behind bars and Finch’s life was taken from him. The idea of swatting is vicious and as the story illustrates, an at times lethal activity. It is a selfless and irrational act perpetrated by males and females, not men and women. Should Barriss have been given more time? Reportedly, his sentence stood as the most lengthy one to be associated with swatting or other fraudulent calls. Should he have been given life in prison for the loss of life that he caused?

Serial swatter Tyler Barriss facing 46 additional charges and plans to plead guilty.

As the facts remain, Barriss was charged in Kansas, Washington DC, and California. At 26-years-old, Barriss now has the weight of not being unable to see a ray of liberty’s sunshine in two decades. To swat is to relinquish your mind. It is to become unfocused and out of touch with reality while still having enough awareness to place fake calls to law enforcement.

Barriss’ irrationalism leads to his ultimate punishment for his crimes. As a result, Andrew Finch is without life and grieving families of Finch and the officer who shot him must deal with the fallout.

The truth is that Barriss should be looked at as the aggressor even though he did not pull the trigger. The judicial system served justice to this young male that could have made things much worse for him.


This ought not cast a dark pall on the gaming industry either. Gamers the world over take seriously life and living. They engage in battle and warfare on the digital platform, knowing that reality is far different than that which goes on in the game. That question whether games are too violent is a false claim. What’s violent are the results of a scared little boy who thought that it would be funny to place a hoax on an upstanding, tax-paying individual. This is a window into the psyche of a predator who doesn’t stalk in the real world but in cyberspace. The offender couldn’t deal with his own distorted view of existence and therefore took out his anger and frustration on someone he never even met.

The anguish and the hurt that he has committed has bled into the lives of individuals whom he figured he could dupe and get away with his crimes. Fortunately, the law put an end to his evil.

As he is carted away to the federal penitentiary, he should contemplate just how many lives he’s damaged or destroyed including Finch’s, the police officer’s and his own.

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