A man has been killed by the local Wichita cops after he fell prey to a swatting prank. The answers to what went wrong might be known to the Call of Duty gaming community. Online gamers have promoted the prank on Twitter, and it led to the man getting shot on Thursday night.
Swatting is an internet prank which culminates in calling the local police units to a crime scene of a crime that never really took place. A fake story is narrated to the cops about a murder or a hostage crisis. This often leads to a huge posse of cops landing at the location. By the looks, that’s just what happened in Kansas.
This prank has become a favorite of online gamers all over the US. The prankster calling the cops uses an ID spoofing or some other advanced tech to show their number as a local one. At times the pranksters call non-emergency local numbers rather than 9-1-1.
Troy Livingston, the Deputy Police Chief, Wichita, acknowledged that an investigation is underway regarding this prank incident. The police were called about someone arguing with his mother after shooting the father in the head. It was then told that the shooter had held the mother, as well as the younger brother and sister hostage. Livingston said.
“That was the information we were working off of. A male came to the front door. As he came to the front door, one of our officers discharged his weapon.”
Officers well equipped to deal with the hostage scenario reached the 1000 block of McCormick. It was not disclosed whether the 28-year-old man who died after being shot was armed or not. It is also not known what prompted the officer to shoot him immediately on sight. There is no reason to believe that the man had shot at the cops. The victim was not identified, but, it was acknowledged that he died at the local hospital after being shot.
A family member of the victim claims that the dead man was Andrew Finch. One of his cousins also claimed that Andrew never played video games. Livingston further added:
“This call was little peculiar for us. (The call) went to a substation first, then it was relayed to dispatch, then dispatch gave it to us. We have a lot of information to go through.”
The shooting seems to have been caused by Twitter, where over a dozen people have identified themselves as being members of the Call of Duty gaming community. The shooting appears to have stemmed from an argument which took place between two Call of Duty gamers, who unleashed the terrible swatting prank. A gamer said.
“I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION.”
This tweet was from the gamer whom several others held responsible for the swatting prank. His Twitter account was suspended shortly. As it is described on Twitter, this man warned to swat the other, and the targeted person gave the attacker a fake address. This led to the cops reaching an address nearby where an innocent person who was enjoying a peaceful night without any hostages, was killed. The target, who didn’t get swatted, said this.
“Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed.”
The deputy police chief didn’t share the victim’s actual address and only told the block number. Police were present in the front yards of two houses located across the street from each other at the corner of Seneca and McCormick. One gamer said via email.
“Normally this is a prank, but due to the high-stress situation, sometimes it is closer to a death threat from a user trying to get cops to kill them.”
The argument which caused in the murderous swatting prank was initiated by a $1 bet over the game. The officer who fired the killing shot has been placed on paid leave. He has been a cop for the last seven years. Police might reveal more details later today. The news was first revealed by Kansas.com.