California suspect held in hoax that led to police killing Kansas man
Dec 30 (Reuters) - A 25-year-old Los Angeles man was arrested in the city on suspicion of making a hoax phone call that led a police officer in Kansas to kill an unarmed man at a home where the caller said hostages were being held, authorities said on Saturday.
The arrest of Tyler Barriss took place on Friday afternoon, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department said, following the killing of a 28-year-old father as he stood at the front door to his Wichita home on Thursday evening.
The officer shot the Kansas man minutes after arriving at the residence in response to the call, Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said, describing the shooting "as a tragic and senseless act."
Authorities said the call was an example of "swatting," in which a caller falsely reports an emergency that requires a police response, usually by Special Weapons and Tactics, or SWAT, teams.
Barriss was being held without bond in the Los Angeles County jail system on Saturday on a fugitive warrant from Kansas and will not appear in court until Tuesday at the earliest, city police spokesman Mike Lopez said.
Los Angeles County jail records listed no lawyer for Barriss.
In the 911 call that Wichita police released on Friday, a man could be heard saying that his parents had been arguing.
"I shot him in the head, and he’s not breathing anymore,” the man said.
The man then told the 911 operator that he was holding a handgun on his mother and little sister, had doused the house with gasoline and was thinking of torching it.
Wichita police officers surrounded a house on the city's west side, Livingston said.
"A 28-year-old male opened the front screen door and stood in the doorway or just outside that doorway," he said. "Officers gave him several verbal commands to put his hands up and walk towards them."
A police officer shot once after the man quickly raised his hands and appeared to point a weapon at the officers, Livingston said.
Police found no one dead, injured or taken hostage inside the house, he said.
Family members told the Wichita Eagle newspaper that Andrew Finch, who was the father of two children, was the man killed.
"The person who made the phone call took my nephew ... two kids’ father," Finch’s aunt, Lorrie Hernandez-Caballero, told the paper. "How does it feel to be a murderer? I can’t believe people do this on purpose." (Additional reporting by Bernie Woodall in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Editing by Alison Williams and Lisa Von Ahn)