Online gamers have been previously been accused of wasting police time and endangering the public with prank calls, and authorities are now searching for the caller who was responsible for instigating the deadly callout, Mr Livingston said. According to KABC, he had been arrested two years earlier for making hoax bomb threats to their TV station.
"Due to the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim", Livingston said. On Thursday night, after the shooting, SWAuTistic wrote, "I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION". "The incident is a nightmare for everyone involved, including the family and our police department", Livingston said.
Andrew Finch was shot and killed by police officers who stormed his Wichita house after reports of a homicide and hostage situation. The call was made by an online "swatter", a term used to describe someone who makes false police calls in an attempt to get SWAT teams to raid peoples homes and scare them... sometimes people die though.The incident happened over a Call of Duty wager of $1.50 (yes, a dollar and 50 cents, that's not a typo), an argument ensued and one of the players said they were going to swat the other player.
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Without naming Finch, police later said that a man emerged from the house and was repeatedly ordered to put his hands up. In the audio of the 911 call played by Wichita police at a news conference, a man said he shot his father in the head and that he was holding his mother and a sibling at gunpoint. He had claimed credit not just for Wichita - but for false bomb hoaxes at the Federal Communications Commission, a convention center in Dallas and a high school in Panama City, Florida. One day after the incident, the man who allegedly made the prank call was arrested.
On the call, the man said he had shot his father. The call also claimed that Finch was holding his brother, sister, and mother hostage; that he had poured gasoline around the home; and that he meant to light the home on fire in a murder-suicide.
The FBI estimated that 400 such cases of "swatting" occur annually with numerous prank callers using some sort of caller identification spoofing software to disguise their phone numbers. Finch's mother said her son was not a gamer.
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"What gives the cops the right to open fire?" she asked. An FBI supervisor in Kansas City, Missouri, which covers all of Kansas, said the agency joined in the investigation at the request of local police. "That cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place".
The officer who fired the shot, a seven-year veteran of the department, is on paid leave pending the investigation.
Lisa Finch said the family was forced outside barefoot in freezing cold and handcuffed after the shooting. The player who was threatened did not live there and an innocent family had their home stormed by police and it ended in a fatality.
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