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Three men indicted in Call of Duty-linked 'swatting' death

In a direct message on Twitter, one of the alleged suspects wrote, "Need to delete everything. This is a murder case now."

Tyler Barriss appears before a judge on Tuesday in Wichita, Kansas, in a preliminary hearing regarding the "swatting" death of Andrew Finch in December 2017.

Tyler Barriss appears before a judge on Tuesday in Wichita, Kansas, in a preliminary hearing regarding the "swatting" death of Andrew Finch in December 2017. 

Bo Rader/Wichita Eagle/TNS via Getty Images

Federal prosecutors have indicted three men in connection with a "swatting" death in Kansas. 

Andrew Finch, a 28-year-old man living in Wichita, Kansas, opened his door on Dec. 28, 2017, to police officers who believed he had a gun and was holding his family hostage. Officers shot and killed him based on false information from a call allegedly placed by Tyler Barriss, a 25-year-old in Los Angeles who had been accused of phoning bomb threats in the past

The Justice Department also announced charges against Barriss for allegedly making bomb threats to FBI headquarters and to the FCC during its net neutrality vote

Barriss is charged with manslaughter for the alleged "swatting" call -- when someone makes a false report to police and describes kidnapping, murder or other violent crimes, in the hopes of having a SWAT team dispatched. LAPD officers arrested Barriss last December. 

Court documents unsealed on Wednesday showed that two other suspects were involved with the call, which started from an argument over Call of Duty: World War II, with one player in Kansas and the other in Ohio. Finch was not involved with any of the suspects. 

Shane Gaskill, 19, and Casey Viner, 18, were playing the first-person shooting game when Viner became angry at Gaskill over an argument, according to court documents. Viner then allegedly asked Barriss to "swat" Gaskill.

According to direct messages that federal prosecutors obtained, the Kansas resident dared Barriss to swat him, giving an address for him to call the police to. But Gaskill didn't give his actual address -- it was a home in Wichita that his parents owned and rented out to Finch's family, according to the direct messages.

"We don't live there anymore bahahaha," Gaskill wrote to Barriss, according to prosecutors. 

Shortly after reports came out that police had shot and killed Finch, Gaskill allegedly messaged Barriss again, urging them to "delete everything," telling him, "this is a murder case now." 

In another text message that police obtained from Viner's phone, the teen allegedly wrote and then deleted, "I was involved in someone's death."

In addition to manslaughter, Barriss has also been charged with cyberstalking, wire fraud, conspiracy and interstate threats. Viner is charged with conspiracy for asking for the swat call, while Gaskill is charged with wire fraud for giving a false address that led to Finch's death. The two teens are also charged with obstruction of justice for deleting their messages. 

They face between five years and life in prison, if convicted.

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