Tyler Barriss Pleads Guilty In Deadly
Wichita Swatting Case
November 15, 2018
A California man entered a plea
agreement in federal court in Kansas that would send him to prison for
20 years or more, U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said.
Tyler Barriss, 25, Los Angeles, Calif., pleaded guilty to causing a
deadly swatting incident in Wichita on Dec. 28, 2017, as well as dozens
of similar crimes in which no one was injured. In those cases, Barriss
was charged in federal courts in California and the District of
In the Wichita case, Barriss entered guilty pleas to count one (making a
false report resulting in a death), count two (cyberstalking) and count
12 (conspiracy) of a superseding indictment.
“Without ever stepping foot in Wichita, the defendant created a chaotic
situation that quickly turned from dangerous to deadly,” U.S. Attorney
Stephen McAllister said. “His reasons were trivial and his disregard for
the safety of other people was staggering.”
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “I am
deeply grateful to the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, local law
enforcement, and FCC security officials for their efforts in prosecuting
this case and protecting this agency. We
will continue working to carry out the mission of the FCC.”
In the Kansas case, Barriss admitted
making hoax calls that resulted in Wichita police surrounding an old
house at 1033 W. McCormick. When officers arrived, they believed there
was a man inside who had killed his own father and was holding family
members hostage. A man who came outside to face police, however, had
done nothing wrong and did not know about the swatting call. As he
stepped onto the porch, police told him to put up his hands. When he
unexpectedly dropped his hands, he was shot and killed.
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
In the case from the District of Columbia, Barriss pleaded guilty to
making hoax bomb threats in phone calls to the headquarters of the FBI
and the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, D.C.
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
In the case from the Central District of California, Barriss pleaded
guilty to 46 counts, including making calls with false reports that
bombs were planted at high schools, universities, shopping malls and TV
stations. He made the calls from Los Angeles to emergency numbers in
Ohio, New Hampshire, Nevada, Massachusetts, Illinois, Utah, Virginia,
Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Maine, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, New York,
Michigan, Florida and Canada.
co-defendants in the Wichita case, Casey Viner, 18, North College Hill,
Ohio, and Shane Gaskill, 20, Wichita, Kan., are awaiting trial.
In Barriss’ plea, he admitted he got involved with Viner and Gaskill
after they had a falling out while playing the game Call of Duty online.
As a result, Viner, who was in Ohio, asked Barriss, who was in
California, to swat Gaskill, who was in Wichita. Gaskill found out
Barriss was stalking him and in messages over the internet he dared
Barriss to carry out the swat. Gaskill fooled Barriss, however, by
claiming to live at 1033 W. McCormick. In fact, Gaskill no longer lived
Sentencing is set for Jan. 30 before U.S. District Court Judge Eric
McAllister and Assistant U.S. Attorney Debra Barnett prosecuted the
case. In the Kansas case, McAllister commended the FBI, the Sedgwick
County Sheriff’s Office and the Wichita Police Department for their work
on the case. In the Middle District of California, Assistant U.S.
Attorney George Emel Pence, IV, prosecuted. In the District of Columbia,
Assistant U.S. Attorney Luke Matthew Jones prosecuted.