DO YOU KNOW THESE PEOPLE?
DO YOU KNOW THESE PEOPLE?
$2 BET LED TO FAKE CALL THAT GOT A FATHER KILLED
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Saturday, December 30, 2017, 12:25 PM
An alleged serial “prankster” from California has been arrested over a fake 911 call that resulted in police fatally shooting an unarmed Kansas man earlier this week, officials said.
Tyler Barriss — a 25-year-old gamer suspected of making the false police report that led to the death of Wichita resident Andrew Finch — was cuffed by Los Angeles cops late Friday. The catastrophic prank Barriss carried out, known as “swatting,” has gained traction in online gaming communities and typically involves a person making up a story about an ongoing violent crime to trigger a massive police response.
Finch was gunned down on Thursday night after cops believe Barriss told a 911 dispatcher that he had shot his father and was holding his mother and younger brother hostage.
“I shot him in the head and he’s not breathing anymore,” Barriss said, according to a recording of the call released by the Wichita Police Department.
Tyler Barriss, in a mugshot from his 2015 arrest, when police say he falsely claimed to have planted bombs in the offices of Glendale, Calif.-based KABC-TV.
Barriss then added, “I might just pour gasoline all over the house, I might just set it on fire.”
Barriss gave cops Finch’s address, mistakenly believing it belonged to a person he had feuded with over a $1 or $2 Call of Duty wager.
“Due to the actions of a prankster we have an innocent victim,” Wichita deputy police chief Troy Livingston said during a press conference Friday night.
Barriss’ unnerving 911 call set cops rushing to Finch’s house, expecting an ongoing hostage situation. Instead, an unarmed and unsuspecting Finch came to the front door.
Officers screamed at Finch to put his hands in the air, but Livingston said the 28-year-old father of two young boys moved a hand toward his waistband. An officer, fearing Finch was reaching for a gun, fired a single shot. Finch died minutes later.
A series of since-deleted Twitter posts screen-grabbed by the Wichita Eagle suggest that the targeted Call of Duty gamer gave Barriss a fake address that — seemingly by complete happenstance — turned out to be Finch’s.
Andrew Finch was shot to death by police on Thursday.
“Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed,” read a tweet from the would-be victim.
Barriss later denied that his fake police report was to blame for Finch’s death.
“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION,” he posted.
Lisa Finch, surrounded by family members, grieves after her son Andrew Finch was shot to death by police on Thursday in Wichita, Kansas.
This isn’t the first time Barriss has landed in trouble over fake 911 calls. In 2015, he was slammed with federal charges after getting arrested for falsely claiming to have planted bombs at the offices of an ABC affiliate in Los Angeles.
The potentially devastating prank method has in recent years gained particular popularity among players of first-person shooter games such as Call of Duty and the FBI estimates that some 400 cases occur annually. But Thursday’s tragic hoax might be the first time anyone has been killed as a consequence.
Finch’s devastated mother, Lisa Finch, told reporters that her son wasn’t a gamer and didn’t own any guns. She also expressed anger at the police.
“What gives cops the right to open fire?” she asked. “That cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place.”
The officer who fired the fatal shot is a seven-year veteran with the Wichita department. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.
DUMASS CALLED IN A FAKE SHOOTING AND HOSTAGE SITUATION
RESULTING IN POLICE SHOOTING AN INNOCENT FATHER OF 2
Yesterday evening, a 28-year-old Kansas man was shot by police after the station received a call about a hostage situation taking place at the man’s residence. “It was a shooting call involving hostages,” Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said during a press conference last night. “The original call, we were told that someone had an argument with their mother and dad was accidentally shot. And that now that person was holding mother, brother and sister hostage. We learned through that call that a father was deceased, and had been shot in the head. That was the information we were working off of.” But that information turned out to be wrong and shortly after the incident, reports began to surface online that the call was part of a “swatting” stunt — a hoax wherein someone makes a false police report in order to fuel a large law enforcement response.
Here’s what seems to have gone down. Two individuals were playing Call of Duty and got into an argument online over a game with a $1.50 wager. One of them, a person with the Twitter handle @SWauTistic, threatened to swat user @7aLeNT. The latter then provided an address that wasn’t actually their own in response to the threat. Shortly thereafter, @SWauTistic allegedly called in the false report, which led to a police response at the provided address. Andrew Finch, who lived at the address, reportedly went to the front door in response to the commotion and was shot. “As he came to the front door, one of our officers discharged his weapon,” said Livingston. The police haven’t said whether Finch had a weapon at the time, but his family has said there were no guns in the house. The officer who fired the shot is a seven-year department veteran who will be put on paid administrative leave pending an investigation.
Once the story began attracting media coverage, @SWauTistic tweeted that the house he swatted was on the news, which was then followed by a tweet saying he didn’t get anyone killed because he wasn’t the person who shot Finch.
KrebsOnSecurity reports that the individual then changed his Twitter handle to @GoredTutor36, but not before KrebsOnSecurity got its hands on weeks’ worth of the original account’s tweets. The person behind the account has claimed credit for a number of swatting hoaxes and other threats including one that led to the evacuation of the Dallas Convention Center earlier this month, a bomb threat at a Florida high school in November and the threat that caused the FCC to pause its net neutrality vote a couple of weeks ago.
In direct message conversations with KrebsOnSecurity, the person running @GoredTutor36 said that they had remorse over Finch’s death but that they would not be turning themselves in. “People will eventually (most likely those who know me) tell me to turn myself in or something. I can’t do that; though I know its [sic] morally right. I’m too scared admittedly,” they wrote. They also said, “Bomb threats are more fun and cooler than swats in my opinion and I should have just stuck to that. But I began making $ doing some swat requests.” The person also noted that the thrill of such hoaxes “comes from having to hide from police via net connections.”
Finch was a father of two children — a two-year-old and a seven-year-old — and his family said he didn’t play video games.
Update: The Wichita Police department has confirmed this is an incident of SWATting, and released material including audio of the phone call that sent officers to Finch’s door and video of what happened when officers arrived. According to the police, their investigation is ongoing, however they noted that the caller continued to contact 911 even after the police had arrived on the scene.
HERE IS THE 911 CALL AND SHOOTING
HIRES HIMSELF AS CONSULTANT ALL COMPENSATION PAID UP FRONT (3 YEARS WORTH)
From the Wrap News
The chairman of the company that owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and New York Daily News has awarded himself $15 million in consulting contracts for the publishing conglomerate, according to an SEC filing.
The document, which was filed on Friday afternoon ahead of the Christmas break, provides Merrick Media, the consulting firm owned by tronc Chairman Michael Ferro, with a three-year contract at $5 million per year “to provide certain management expertise and technical services.”
The contract provides for payment on the first of the year.
The document offers no other detail on what those consulting services might entail. However, it notes that Ferro’s private jet travel will now be covered by Merrick Media. Ferro’s private travel was previously under fire for costing the L.A. Times $4.6 million in 2016 and 2017.
The contract was immediately criticized by the union that is seeking to win approval from Los Angeles Times newsroom employees in a vote on January 4. A posting by the L.A. Times guild over the weekend decried Ferros use of a private jet in 2016 an “act of plundering [that] cost Tronc — and its newsrooms — $4.6 million between February 2016 and last September.”
The guild went on to say: “Ferro is now free to spend nearly twice that amount per year on the jet or anything else he desires. And he won’t have to break out the travel expenses on future SEC filings.”
Tronc bought the New York Daily News earlier this year, a move to grow the conglomerate’s publishing base, but advertising revenue continued to plunge – down 14% year over year in the third quarter of 2017. Total revenues for third quarter 2017 decreased 6.6% to $353.1 million, compared to $378.2 million for third quarter 2016.
Self-serving management moves is not new at tronc, which now trades at about $18 per share, up from about $14 a year ago. As TheWrap reported earlier this year, the company hired Ross Levinsohn to be publisher of the L.A. Times, a recommendation that management followed from a $600,000 consultant who turned out to be none other than Levinsohn himself.
ACCUSED OF BRIBING DOCTORS
John Kapoor, a billionaire whose company developed a liquid version of the opioid painkiller fentanyl, was arrested in Phoenix on Thursday on charges that he spearheaded a scheme to bribe doctors and pharmacists across the nation to boost sales — largely to patients who did not need the medication.
The scheme was first described in December in an indictment against six executives at the company, Insys Therapeutics in Chandler, Ariz. The new indictment, unsealed Thursday in Boston, adds Kapoor, the 74-year-old founder who stepped down as chief executive in January, to the list of those accused.
His arrest highlights the role manufacturers and distributors of prescription painkillers play in the nation’s opioid crisis, which is killing more than 140 people each day.
The same day Kapoor was arrested, President Trump declared the opioid crisis a 90-day public health emergency.
The drug, Fentanyl Spray, is placed under the tongue and used to relieve pain in cancer patients. The company manufactured and started selling it in 2012.
Unhappy with sales, Kapoor and other executives soon embarked on the bribery scheme, which went on for more than three years, according to court documents.
Doctors were encouraged to prescribe the medication more frequently and at higher dosages, the indictment says. In 2013, about 1,900 medical practitioners wrote 90% of all the company’s product prescriptions.
Though the bribes, which included speaker fees, food, entertainment and administrative support to medical practitioners across the country, helped increase the company’s revenue, the court documents say, insurance agencies were reluctant to approve payment for the drug when it was prescribed to patients without cancer.
To get around this roadblock, Kapoor allegedly told employees to misrepresent the type of patients using the drug. Most prescriptions were given to people not diagnosed with cancer, according to the indictment.
TWITTER EXCHANGE BETWEEN CELEBRITIES
On Tuesday night, Rosie O’Donnell, unhinged leftist, so-called comedian, and permanent
enemy of Donald Trump, distraught that the House of Representatives had passed the first significant tax cut bill in three decades, offered to break the law by offering two senators bribes to vote against the bill. That engendered a back-and-forth with Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro in which she told him to “Suck my d**k,” prompting a scathing and hilarious response that left her looking like shredded underwear.
The one-sided battle of wits began when O’Donnell tweeted:
so how about this i promise to give 2 million dollars to senator susan collins and 2 million to senator jeff flake if they vote NO NO I WILL NOT KILL AMERICANS FOR THE SUOER RICH DM me susan DM me jeff no shit 2 million cash each
On Wednesday morning, conservative columnist Jeff Jacoby pointed out a fun fact for O’Donnell:
Jeff Jacoby Retweeted ROSIE
Here’s a fun fact, @Rosie: Under 18 U.S. Code §201, offering $4 million in bribes to senators to influence a vote is punishable with up to $12m in fines and/or imprisonment for as much as 15 years. https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/201 …
Simultaneously, conservative pundit Allahpundit added:
Excited for all of you who are consumed with tax reform this morning, but right now Rosie O’Donnell is a fugitive from the law. Prioritize.
Three minutes later, Shapiro joined the fray:
If Trump orders Sessions to investigate Rosie, he will be carved into Rushmore by Friday.
It took eight minutes, but then O’Donnell attempted to offer her best attempt at being witty:
suck my dick ben
Which prompted this deathless reply:
You’re already a felon, Rosie. Don’t be a homophobic sexual harasser too. https://twitter.com/rosie/status/943476969710260229 …
And this capper:
THERE IS AN OLD SAYING THAT SAYS “RISE ABOVE IT” I GUESS THAT IS AN OLD WISE TALE THAT MEANS NOTHING THESE DAYS.
THE DUMASS HAD TO CALL 911 AND REPORT HIMSELF
A man cops are calling “Criminal Santa” had to call 911 when he reportedly found himself trapped in a California business’s chimney this week.
Citrus Heights Police allege 32-year-old Jesse Berube was not trying to spread Christmas cheer when he allegedly crawled down the chimney Wednesday.
According to a police statement, Berube slid down the chimney in an attempt to gain entry into the business.
However, cops say Berube was unsuccessful and became lodged, and unable make his way back out. Fortunately for him, Berube was able to move just enough to call for help.
“Criminal Santa does not have the same skills as the real deal,” police joked.
With the help of fire officials using special equipment, Berube was soon able to escape a sooty demise uninjured.
Berube was, however, arrested for burglary and has since been released.