You have probably heard the news that a 25-year-old man named Tyler R. Barriss
living in south Los Angeles, California has been arrested for a “swatting” prank
that led to another man’s death.
What is swatting?
The word ‘swatting’ comes from the acronym SWAT, as in the police SWAT teams that
handle hostage situations, etc, etc. A swatting prank is calling 911 and reporting
a hostage situation. Usually, extra drama is included in the false report, such as,
“a heavily armed man and one already dead’. The whole idea of swatting is to cause
a lot of trouble for the pranked-person.
However, in this case, the prank led to a man’s death. Basically, when the police
arrived at the home of the suspected hostage situation and called for all to come out
with thier hands up, a man came to the front door, put his hands up but then down
again and one of the officers fired the fatal shot that killed the man.
There is some strong evidence that this swatting prank was the result of a dispute
during an online game called Call of Duty which is a first person shooting game. More
than a dozen people that claimed to be part of the Call of Duty gaming community
reported on Twitter that two fellow players had a major dispute which led to one
of them making the swatting call.
The sad part of this is that the other man in the dispute gave a fake address to
the gamer that was threatening the swatting call and the police wound up at the
wrong address and shot a man that had nothing to do with the whole event.