The swatting phenomenon is spread throughout the United States and has already claimed its first victim. It is a practice by which a person denounces another to the police or special forces alleging a very serious crime , such as an attempted murder or a situation with hostages. The “joke” has become fashionable among some communities of gamers, so much that it has caused a death in Wichita, as collected by the New York Times.
A Call of Duty player: WWII threatened another with calling the police. He gave her a random address, specifically that of Andrew Finch, 28, who was peacefully at home with his family.
When attending the indicated address, and with a warning of homicide and hostage taking, one of the police present opened fire at the moment when Finch appeared by the door of his home. The agent alleged that the alleged criminal put his hands on his waist at the time of the shooting.
The player does not feel responsible
The decision of the police officer who opened fire on an unarmed target is being studied and a 25-year-old named Tyler Barriss has been arrested and accused of being the user who made the call. According to the tweets published in his personal account in a social network of gamers, the authorship of the event was assigned, claiming that it was “a joke that has ended badly”. In addition, he apologized stating that it was not he who had caused the death of the victim, since “he had not emptied any weapons and was not a SWAT member” – the special security forces of the US police.
On the other hand, Finch’s mother explained to the local newspaper The Wichita Eagle: “I saw the red and blue lights blinking through the window. Then I heard how my son was screaming, I got up and I heard a shot. They did not call an ambulance until he died.” At the press conference, a deputy police chief said that the officer who fired the shots has been placed on paid leave. According to the official discourse, Finch’s death is only the fault of “the actions of a prankster.“