Gamer Sentenced for Role in Deadly 'Swatting'

Cops killed innocent man at fake address Shane Gaskill gave rival gamer
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 26, 2022 6:46 PM CDT
Gamer Gets 18 Months for Role in Deadly 'Swatting'
In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018, photo, Shane Gaskill leaves federal court in Wichita.   (Jaime Green/The Wichita Eagle via AP, File)

A Wichita man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for his role in a hoax phone call that led police to shoot and kill an innocent man in 2017. Shane Gaskill, who was 19 at the time of the crime, was sentenced after pleading guilty in May to wire fraud, KSN reported. He was originally placed on probation but faced renewed prosecution after violating the terms. Prosecutors said Gaskill got into an argument in December 2017 with Ohio gamer Casey Viner over a $1.50 bet on a game of Call of Duty: WWII. Using an old Wichita address Gaskill had given him, Viner persuaded Tyler Barriss in Los Angeles to call Wichita police and say he had shot his father at the address and was holding his mother and little brother hostage at gunpoint, prosecutors said.

It's called "swatting," a form of retaliation in which someone makes a false report to police to send first responders, including SWAT teams, to someone's address. According to court documents, Gaskill gave Barriss his old address and dared him to try something, BuzzFeed reports. Andrew Finch, 28, who lived at the address, was shot and killed by police after he opened the front door to see what was going on outside. Barriss was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to 51 counts of making fake emergency calls and threats around the country, including the one that led to Finch’s death. Viner served 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice. The officer who fired the fatal shot was not charged.

(More swatting stories.)

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