A new trend of online pranking is making headlines after a 28-year-old man who was pranked ended up getting shot to death by a SWAT team member. The incident occurred Thursday night in Wichita, Kansas.
According to information the Wichita Eagle is gathering, it appears that an online feud began between two players of the popular game “Call of Duty.” The argument involved a wager of $1 or $2.
That’s when the fight apparently escalated, and one gamer allegedly decided to prank the other using a new method called “swatting.” Swatting involves using techniques to conceal where you’re calling from before calling 911 and concocting a story dramatic enough to get the SWAT team to arrive. If that was the case in this particular incident, it worked.
Deputy Wichita Police Chief Troy Livingston said his department received a phony call from someone claiming that their father had been shot dead and the rest of their family was being held hostage by the gunman. The police were given a home address, and, not surprisingly, the SWAT team was sent in to take care of the situation.
But when officers arrived at the home ready for a potential shootout, 28-year-old Andrew Finch came to the front door. For reasons not yet released, one of the officers shot and killed him.
Now Andrew’s grief-stricken family is looking for answers.
“I know I had seen the red and blue lights flashing in my window, I heard my son scream, I got up, and then I heard a shot,” his mom Leslie recalled in an interview while surrounded by grieving loved ones. “What gives the cops the right to open fire? That cop murdered my son over a false report in the first place.”
Stranger yet, Andrew’s family claim that he wasn’t a gamer but said that he had received a threatening message online earlier. They also said that he was unarmed and had opened the front door before SWAT officers knocked because he had heard a noise outside.
The identity of the suspect who made the fatal prank call has not been confirmed. Online acquaintances have informed investigators about the feud and have pointed toward a possible suspect.
That unnamed suspect gave a bizarre reply before his Twitter account was suspended, saying, “I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION.”
Now people who were aware of the online argument are saying that the intended target of the prank gave the suspect a fake home address, leading to the possibility that now-deceased Andrew had no connection whatsoever to the fight. He just happened to have an address that matched the fake one.
Please pray for Andrew’s loved ones as they deal with their tragic loss. In other news, an NFL player has gotten the last laugh after getting fined $6,000 by the NFL for wearing Christmas cleats.