Los Angeles man arrested in fatal Call of Duty 'swatting' incident

Police arrested a Los Angeles man after a false report of a hostage situation led to a fatal shooting of a 28-year-old unarmed man in Wichita. Police suspect this was a "swatting" prank from an argument during a Call of Duty match. Fernando Salazar /The Wichita Eagle via AP

Los Angeles police arrested a man on Friday who is suspected of placing a "swatting" hoax 911 call after an argument stemming from a Call of Duty match that lead to the death of an unarmed man.

Tyler Barriss was taken into custody by the Los Angeles Police Department on a fugitive warrant Friday night, an LAPD spokesperson told several media outlets.

The false call led to a police officer shooting Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old father, unrelated to the dispute allegedly between Barriss and another online Call of Duty player. Barriss is suspected to have made the call, where he claimed to be the perpetrator of a homicide and hostage situation and gave police an address that he believed belonged to the other gamer.

The address was actually Finch's home. When Finch exited the house, an officer discharged his weapon after police claim Finch reached for his waistband, Wichita deputy police chief Troy Livingston said in a news conference on Friday. The officer who shot Finch, a 7 1/2-year veteran of the force, is on paid leave pending the investigation.

The FBI estimates that there are around 400 cases of "swatting" per year, according to The Associated Press. "Swatting" is a well-known issue in the online streaming community, and multiple videos of streamers getting "swatted" can be found on YouTube.

Barriss was arrested in a Los Angeles transitional recovery center, law enforcement sources told NBC. According to information from the City of Glendale, California, Barriss was previously arrested in Oct. 2015 as a result of a connection to a bomb threat made to ABC Studios in Glendale.

Two former high-ranking Los Angeles Sheriff Department sources told ESPN that possible charges could include filing a false police report, false report of an emergency and impersonation of another. The false report of an emergency charge can become a felony if great bodily harm comes as a result of the action.

"Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim," Livingston said Friday. "I will tell you that the detectives have done an outstanding job overnight following up leads and looking at different social media. They have some promising information at this time."

Gaming news site Dexerto reported on Friday that the dispute between Barriss and the other Call of Duty player occurred after a $1 or $2 online wager match on UMG, a popular video game matchmaking site.

"We woke this morning to horrible news about an innocent man losing his life," UMG vice president Shannon Gerritzen said in an email to AP. "Our hearts go out to his loved ones. We are doing everything we can to assist the authorities in this matter."

Jacob Wolf and Kevin Hitt contributed to this report.