A Wichita, Kansas police officer fatally shot and killed a 28-year-old man late Thursday night while responding to what the authorities now believe may have been a “swatting” prank. According to The Wichita Eagle, Andrew Finch answered the door of his residence when local police “[getting] into position” called upon the home’s occupants to come out. As Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston explains it, officers were responding to “a call about a homicide and hostage situation that turned out to be false.” Unfortunately, the “information [they] were working off of” may have been based on a prank gone wrong.
Per the local news outlet, gamers playing Call of Duty that night were reportedly responsible for the events leading up to Finch’s death. Or, at least that’s the way it seemed according to reactions to the news on Twitter:
“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION,” said one gamer, who others said made the swatting call. His account was suspended overnight.
According to posts on Twitter, two gamers were arguing when one threatened to target the other with a swatting call. The person who was the target of the swatting gave the other gamer a false address, which sent police to a nearby home instead of his own, according to Twitter posts.
The person who was to be the target of the swatting sent a Tweet saying, “Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed.”
Wichita Police would neither confirm nor deny the “swatting” prank story. However, Livingston did say the “call was little peculiar for us.” Apparently it “went to a substation first, then it was relayed to dispatch, then dispatch gave it to us,” he explained, adding: “We have a lot of information to go through.” Meanwhile, a member of the family identified Finch as the deceased. What’s more, a cousin reportedly told the paper he “didn’t play video games.”
(Via The Wichita Eagle)