A 28-year-old father of two in Kansas has been shot dead by a team of police called to his house by a gamer incensed over a ‘Call of Duty‘ dispute.
The practice of “swatting“, where gamers either threaten to or actually call in a false report of a crime to local authorities in an attempt to get a bunch of cops to show up at their opponent’s house, has apparently grown in popularity over the last few years. However, members of the gaming community are speculating that this is the first recorded death from the practice.
According to website KrebsOnSecurity.com, the swatting call was made because of a dispute about a US$1 or $2 bet over the game. Twitter posts which have now been delated (but can be seen here) show that one player threatened to swat his opponent, and his opponent taunted him by giving him an address.
Then, the first player called in a phoney 911 call, pretending to be his opponent and saying that he’d shot his father and was holding his mother and sister hostage.
However, his opponent had given him a false address – that of totally innocent, unarmed man Andrew Finch. On Friday night, police surrounded Finch’s house in Wichita, and after he appeared at the door and raised and lowered his hands several times, an officer shot him. Finch later died in hospital.
It’s an absolutely insane series of events, and the gaming community is registering its shock and disbelief. Of course, some are also saying that it was only a matter of time before someone died as a result of swatting.
We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of an innocent man. This happened because a certain individual got into a dispute over something as little as a $1-$2 wager on Call of Duty. Calling a swat team is not a joke. Our prayers go out to the family affected. #WeAreExalted
— Exalted Esports (@WeAreExalted) December 29, 2017
Imagine having a loved one die because two random dickheads had an argument over a $1.50 Call of Duty bet… Infuriating, but way too predictable. Just awful, awful news.
— David Milner (@DaveMilbo) December 29, 2017
Kansas man reportedly killed after being SWATted by rival gamers https://t.co/Uy5WPh33Jv Person blamed for calling in fake hostage situation says he didn’t get anyone killed b/c he didn’t pull trigger. But SWATting should be attempted murder always, and murder in fatal incidents
— briankrebs (@briankrebs) December 29, 2017
Finch’s family have told reporters that Finch did not play video games. His mother said that she’d never even heard of swatting. Finch was unarmed when he was shot.
The player who made the hoax call reportedly posted this message on Twitter after watching the events unfold on the news, before his account was suspended:
I DIDNT GET ANYONE KILLED BECAUSE I DIDNT DISCHARGE A WEAPON AND BEING A SWAT MEMBER ISNT MY PROFESSION
He has now reportedly been arrested in connection to the hoax call. Here’s hoping his sentiments about not being responsible for Andrew Finch’s death don’t hold up in a court of law.