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Crime Games

Two More Gamers May Be Charged in Fatal Kansas 'SWAT' Shooting (kansas.com) 170

A newly-released affidavit reveals that money was at stake in a game of Call Of Duty: World War II which led to the fatal real-life police shooting of Andrew Finch. The Wichita Eagle reports: Investigators learned that Shane Gaskill, who lives in Wichita, was involved in an online video game with other people when he accidentally [virtually] shot and killed one of his teammates in the online game. The teammate who was killed in the game became "extremely upset" and began talking trash to Gaskill, the affidavit says. The dispute escalated until the teammate, who the document identifies as Casey Viner of North College Hill, Ohio, threatened via Twitter to "SWATT" Gaskill, according to the affidavit. Gaskill replied, "Please try some s---." He then posted the address...
Viner "is considered a suspect in several 'swatting' incidents in Cincinnati," reports the Los Angeles Times, adding that prosecutors are still deciding whether these two gamers should also face criminal charges.

Meanwhile, Kansas officials have been informed that the third gamer who actually made the phone call, 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, matches the voice on a fake 2015 bomb threat, and is already the subject of an open investigation by an FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.
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Two More Gamers May Be Charged in Fatal Kansas 'SWAT' Shooting

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27, 2018 @11:40AM (#56014685)

    Is the guy who committed the [real] murder on an unarmed man going to be charged? Or is that workplace mistake?

    • If you think the officer will go to jail over this you need to look at the seemingly constant stream of stories of police shootings of unarmed people being either not charged or acquitted.
      I would bet 1000 dollars he wont be convicted of anything. Probably wont even get fired.

      • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

        The catch is they can not charge the criminal pranksters for the murder or anything associated with it because the idiot law enforcers went to the wrong address and they chose to murder someone at the wrong location, so pretty much a random killing. Sure those criminal prankster made the call and they should be penalised and fined for that call ie wasting public resources but they did not send anyone to the wrong address nor did they panic at that location and kill someone nor are the responsible for shit t

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        If you think the officer will go to jail over this you need to look at the seemingly constant stream of stories of police shootings of unarmed people being either not charged or acquitted.
        I would bet 1000 dollars he wont be convicted of anything. Probably wont even get fired.

        I would treat this as the officer's lucky day. Any other killing and he'd be charged, but because it was a hoax, he should go free.

        This means the charge filters to the actual gamers themselves.

        You may think "but what about the cop? He'l

        • by Cederic ( 9623 )

          Or we could charge the idiots that made the call and the bigger idiot that shot and killed an innocent man.

          No fucking mulligan, he didn't have to shoot, he chose to shoot and he needs to face prosecution for his illegal lethal assault.

  • ...from CoD WWII to GTA XXVI, prison VR3D odorama edition.

  • by StandardCell ( 589682 ) on Saturday January 27, 2018 @12:02PM (#56014757)
    The three reasons that anyone keeps getting SWAT teams sent to them are the following three factors that must be addressed:

    1. Caller ID - it's broken. Unauthenticated caller ID and caller ID spoofing should be treated as a crime since scam artists continue to take over unprotected VoIP gateways. Nothing should be connected to the PSTN without a certificate issued by the PSTN provider, period. This way there's at least some traceability and requires someone to have come on premises or seriously violated the chain of trust far beyond the skiddie level that these little bastards engage in.

    2. Police attitudes - militarization of police is rampant with surplus war equipment like MRAPS, Hollywood movie style takedowns and insufficiently-vetted police officers with mental stability issues. Some modicum of rational assessment of a situation without automatically deploying people is necessary. Laser listening devices on windows, drones, or maybe just walking up to the door. It can't be break in, throw flashbangs and yell like a lunatic getting the innocent occupants to play Simon says until they can't comply and someone innocent gets shot any more.

    3. Punishment - this one is simple. You SWAT, you get twenty years for each instance consecutive. Someone dies because of a swatting, you're guilty of murder and you get life imprisonment. But wait, you say you have some kind of mental disability? Well no problem, you'll just be committed to a mental facility until your condition is eliminated without drugs. Oh, and are you a provider of a gateway to the PSTN or other services that connect to police and don't work to get this done? You lose your license to operate.

    So many people, including myself, are tired of this nonsense. Legislators, law enforcement and telecom companies need to start working together to prevent these things. Otherwise I say they should all be held complicit along with the perpetrators of SWAT incidents in the crimes. It is sheer lunacy that this hasn't been addressed at multiple levels yet.
    • 2: This seems to be the big problem. The police could have done one of seemingly countless things to avoid this. Asking someone to come outside with a fucking megaphone while you are behind a bullet proof shield seems fairly reasonable with 2 seconds of thought. Why does the military have stricter rules of engagement with non citizens than the police do with citizens?? Its crazy.

      3: Punishing someone doesn't stop it happening. Sure he should be punished but the events would still have happened.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        3: Really? If any of these guys had been in jail for their previous SWATings or bomb threats, then Andrew Finch would still be alive.

        It took repeat murder attempts, also called SWATings, before they successfully killed someone - and they could have been stopped at any time by the police and the courts taking these criminals seriously and punishing them for their crimes.

        • by PPH ( 736903 )

          seriously and punishing them for their crimes

          Didn't work. Evidently Barriss had spent two years in jail for making bomb threats. But he was released early to relieve prison overcrowding.

          It all comes down to the lack of responsibility on the part of state and local governments to contain their riff-raff. They need to pay for a large part of the damages here. And that payment needs to come out of the pockets or some of the pet projects in the liberal shitholes in CA. And when they ask where their new schools are or why their lights start to go off in t

          • It all comes down to the lack of responsibility on the part of state and local governments to contain their riff-raff.

            Much of our riff-raff moved here from out of state. Y'all can have them back. Also, if you only pursue the goal of locking up people who cause you problems, you're just going to have to keep locking people up. What about caring for their needs? We try to do that here in California, but it's difficult while we keep sending our tax money to the feds to be distributed to shithole states that hate us.

            • by PPH ( 736903 )

              What about caring for their needs?

              Don't care.

              And once all that 'out of state' riff-raff figures out that CA is no longer a deep pocket for GibsMeDats, they'll go back home.

              • What about caring for their needs?
                Don't care.

                That's why we can't have nice things. Share your wealth with them, or they will share their poverty with you.

                And once all that 'out of state' riff-raff figures out that CA is no longer a deep pocket for GibsMeDats, they'll go back home.

                Even if we stopped caring for people in California, the weather would still keep them here. You can sleep in a ditch and not freeze to death in much of this state.

            • I'm in California. We don't take care of their criminal desires to prevent repeats once governor rainbow lets them all out.

              We do however provide free sex reassignment surgery, chemicals and therapy and a transfer to the women's ward for prisoners who woke up feeling like a woman that day because gender is non binary and fluid and they have a human right to be whatever gender they want everyday and it's my duty as a tax pay (sucker) to foot the bills.

              This has nothing to do with bullshit about which states p

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Why does the military have stricter rules of engagement with non citizens than the police do with citizens?

        Because the police must act (almost) instantly, engaging the bad citizens and protecting the good citizens, (usually) simultaneously - for the military it is much simpler: if we not get engaged by the enemy in their own terms, we will engage the enemy in our own terms... hopefully avoiding friendly/neutral losses.

        I am a Greek. I have served (as a conscript - all Greek males must serve in the military) in the Greek Special Forces as a "free shooter" (a little less than a "sniper", and little more than a "des

        • The reality is that the really good shooters are not in the military but in the police.

          I served, and I also trained with police "SWAT" type teams; in my experience this isn't really true. Police snipers are quite good; I guess you could argue that they might be better than military snipers, but at that level "better" means differences which are largely insignificant, so I would say that the two are on-par.

          The rest of the cops I trained with were really nothing special; they train at short distances (200 meters or less) so, if anything, they seemed to be worse shooters than most of my guys.

          T

          • Its not the aiming of the officer that I think is subpar :)

        • Who were they protecting?

          "When police arrived, they shot and killed 28-year-old Andrew Finch after he exited the residence and reached toward his waistband."

          It sounds like from the reporting that they were defending themselves. Even if he had a gun, there was no hostages there.
          This is why I ask why police can shoot at someone first when generally the military have to be fired at first.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org]

          Surely the police should try their own citizens with more caution than non citizens (not th

    • 1. Wouldn't work. Any halfway-intelligent SWATer has a library of low-tech ways to make an untraceable call. There's a piece of archaic technology called a 'payphone' for a start. If that's not available, you just need a ladder - it's easy to climb a pole and hook into a random pair of wires up there. Besides, there are times when there are legitimate reasons for wanting to deliver an anonymous message.

      2. Is the real area where reform is needed.

      3. No threat of punishment will deter idiots. They think themse

      • 1. Yes, no system is unbreakable. But the barrier of entry needs to be raised to rule out the halfway intelligent.
        2. No question reform is needed, but as has been pointed out by many posters in this story, the police lacked the intent to do harm. Its just like a gun / weapon. The gun lacks intent / motive. The person wielding the weapon has the far bigger share of the blame. Taking away the weapon will just cause the person with intent to reach for a different weapon.
        3. Threat of punishment may not deter

    • Here's a scary article for you [npr.org]. There are cops out there making $10.50/hr working part time. Less than a Wal-Mart Greeter. At those prices beggars can't be choosers and cops who've been fired for misconduct get hired by cash strapped departments who can't afford the $140k it takes to train up an officer. This is what happens when you slash taxes non-stop for 30 years. The government doesn't waste nearly as much money as people think. Sooner than later those cuts need to come from somewhere real.
  • by sandbagger ( 654585 ) on Saturday January 27, 2018 @12:09PM (#56014787)

    You know, the one who actually shot an unidentified person.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What if this is a conspiracy to commit murder? Would you SWAT your friend if he shot you in a video game? Sounds unlikely because players die thousands of times in these FPS games and it's no big deal. What if this is three people conspiring to murder someone using SWAT then lying that it was "nothing," a prank. Why should anyone believe liars? The SWATer, Bariss, is an expert liar as you can tell in his 911 call. The police believed him and killed someone.

      Bottom line: what solid evidence exists that this i

    • by hey! ( 33014 )

      If you were to line up the people in order of their responsibility for the result, he'd be in the lineup, but at the back, behind the people responsible for his hiring and training him. Also the people responsible for militarizing the police force.

      SWAT was popularized in the 60s due to fear of political unrest by minorities. LA forrmed its squad -- immensely influential because of its impact on popular entertainment -- in the wake of the Watts riots. One of the earliest uses of SWAT was against peaceful

      • If you were to line up the people in order of their responsibility for the result, he'd be in the lineup, but at the back, behind the people responsible for his hiring and training him. Also the people responsible for militarizing the police force.

        If that's true, then you might as well send drones to shoot people in the face. But wait, the guy behind the trigger is there to not pull the trigger when pulling the trigger is not warranted. If all we wanted was the trigger pulled, we could use a sentry gun.

        In my book, here's the order in which we should assign blame: #1 is the trigger man, he aimed the weapon and pulled the trigger. #2 is the swatter, he made the fraudulent phone call. #3 is the police industrial complex that encouraged the trigger man t

  • Who is at fault? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday January 27, 2018 @12:17PM (#56014825)

    Why is the focus on these gamers? Yes they are probably losers who have no life but that doesn't change the fact the SWAT team murdered this guy not some gamer or a phone call to police. This should ignite a debate about how the police continue to militarize and raid (often times the wrong place) people homes. What happened to police putting their life on the line to save innocents? This POS cop murdered an unarmed man because he wasn't willing to risk his life for innocents. The police are the problem. Give a monkey and hammer and inevitably he will beat another monkey to death with it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This shit called spoofing numbers needs to be fixed.

  • by drew_kime ( 303965 ) on Saturday January 27, 2018 @02:53PM (#56015581) Journal

    The systemic problem here is that it shouldn't be possible for a false call to the police to put someone's life at risk.

    I've got a teenage daughter who likes exploring abandoned buildings. (There are whole websites dedicated to this [detroiturbex.com], and we're thinking about taking a trip to go on some of the tours at that link.) A couple of years ago she and a friend were picked up by the police as they were leaving one.

    When I went in to pick her up, an officer gave her a lecture about how dangerous it could be. "We could show up and think there are drug dealers or gang members in there and you could get shot."

    Hold on there! You're telling a teenager that something is dangerous, and it's not the drug dealers or gang members she should be worried about, but the police? On the one hand, thanks for the honesty. But Jesus Tap-dancing Christ don't you think that indicates a problem?

  • Slashdot posted the study the other day. This is unbelievable.

  • As a gamer, I hope their eventual probation or parole involves every gamer they come in contact with teamkilling them mercilessly and twich'ing every single instance.

    • As a gamer, I hope their eventual probation or parole involves every gamer they come in contact with teamkilling them mercilessly and twich'ing every single instance.

      Obviously these kids aren't mature enough to play multiplayer games, and should have that right taken away from them. It's not even in the constitution, and rights which are in there are taken away from people all the time.

      If these children can't play games without escalating to swatting, or giving someone else's address to a swatter because ha ha won't this be fun, then they shouldn't get to play games.

  • To complete the summary... The actual caller, Tyler Barriss from LA, had a history of helping people perform swattings, and so appears to have helped Casey Viner by calling in the swatting on the made-up but real address in Kansas where the guy ended up being killed. Given Barriss' apparent history, including bomb threats, *two dozen* swattings or hoax calls, he really should have already been in jail.

    While I agree with others that the action of the police are insane and should be punished, one should ke

  • The officer fired a single shoot.
    The officer likely fired accidentally because he used poor trigger control.
    No other shoots were fired; therefore, the other police did not see reason to fire.
    Even, the one officer that fired did not fire a second bullet.

    This is a case of poor firearm training in the area of trigger control!

    Tim S.
  • Ignoring the issue that cops seem to (a)see guns when there are none and (b)lie their asses off to cover up fellow officers misdeeds - motherf***ers that intentionally send a bunch of amped up, over militarized, SOCOM wannabes to someone's house deserve either attempted murder or conspiracy to commit murder charges and sentences.

    It's so godd*** chickensh** and the odds are ridiculously high (again because of endemic police problems) that someone is going to get seriously injured or killed.

  • While Shane Gaskill (the guy who gave out "his" address in the chat), is morally responsible, barring any evidence that he had a gripe with the people at that address it is a real stretch to suggest he could face criminal charges for his role in the events.

    OTOH, Gaskill is a resident of Wichita. Did he have a reason to choose that particular "fake" address in Wichita?

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