In Kansas, deadly hoax provokes thorny question

Lisa Finch surrounded by family members reacts to the killing of her son Andrew Finch after he was shot on Dec. 28 by police in Wichita Kan. AP

Almost a week after police shot and killed a Kansas man while responding to a prank call, the victim's mother pleaded with authorities to allow her to see her deceased son.

Swatting refers to when a person makes a false report to draw a major police response or SWAT teams to a certain location.

Law enforcement says the original call was a hoax made by 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, who lives in southern California.

The individual who allegedly made a fake emergency call to Kansas police last week that summoned them to shoot and kill an unarmed local man has claimed credit for raising dozens of these risky false alarms - calling in bogus hostage situations and bomb threats at roughly 100 schools and at least 10 residences.

"I'm just pointing the gun at them making sure they stay in the closet, my mom and my little brother", said the caller.

The man who was shot was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead Thursday night.

The district attorney's office says additional charges could be filed once prosecutors review the information provided by police.

The Glendale Police Department in Los Angeles County confirmed to ABC News that Barriss made about 20 calls to universities and media outlets throughout the country around the time he was arrested for a bomb threat to ABC station KABC in Los Angeles in 2015.

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"We very much look at it as a bad thing that happened to a community, and even worse an innocent bystander who isn't even a gamer", said Ramsey Jamoul, CEO at Wichita eSports, which hosts semi-professional video game tournaments. Barriss, allegedly a third party, then called in the hostage situation to police. The warrant is related to a call placed to Wichita police in which the caller claimed he had killed his father and was holding his mother and sibling at gunpoint.

The Wichita Police Department has no policy or specific training on "swatting" - a hoax that involves officers being dispatched to faked emergencies, Police Chief Gordon Ramsay said Tuesday. No one else was injured during the incident, police said. Police and SWAT team members descended on the property as Finch was leaving the front door, where he was soon shot.

Following quickly after the Finch killing, another Wichita police officer almost killed a 9-year-old girl in her family's home Saturday night.

"Please let me see my son's lifeless body", she wrote in a letter dated Tuesday.

"I hope they charged him with something substantial".

"They didn't knock on the door", said Lisa Finch, Andrew's mother. The author of the tweets also says they didn't kill anyone because they didn't fire a weapon.

The official said it wasn't clear if Barriss was involved in the dispute or if he had been recruited to make the false call. Livingston did not name that officer but said he's a 7-year veteran of the department.

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