Wichita police on Friday said a prank 911 phone call – known as “swatting” – led to a fatal police shooting.
“Swatting” is the act of calling police with a fake emergency. The idea is to have multiple police officers surround or enter someone's home.
Wichita police said they received such a call Thursday night. The caller said there was a fatal shooting and a hostage situation at a house near Seneca and McCormick.
Andrew Finch was at the home police were called to and was fatally shot by police when he answered the door and stepped out on the porch, Deputy Chief Troy Livingston said Friday. Finch, who was unarmed, was not involved in the dispute that led to the fake 911 call.
“Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim,” Livingston said. “If the false police call had not been made, we would not have been there."
Wichita police and the FBI are investigating. Authorities said Friday they had arrested a Los Angeles man in connection with the case.
The officer who fired the shot is on administrative leave in accordance with department policy.
A 2008 FBI report mentions swatting incidents dating back to 2002, but the calls have become more prevalent with the rise of live-streaming video games.
Twitter users and gaming sites blamed the incident on swatting. According to Twitter user @vNatsu, two online gamers threatened each other after losing a match of the online video game "Call of Duty." One gamer provided a false address that led to police being called to the location at Seneca and McCormick.
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