Police have reportedly made an arrest after a hoax emergency call led to an unarmed man being shot dead in a so-called “swatting” incident.
Los Angeles Police detained 25-year-old Tyler Barriss, according to NBC News, after officers more than 1,300 miles away in Kansas fatally shot 28-year-old Andrew Finch.
The arrest comes after police said a prankster had lured officers to a house in the city of Wichita on Thursday.
The practice of “swatting”, most common among online gamers, involves making false emergency calls to get a heavily armed SWAT team to attend a location.
Wichita’s deputy police chief, Troy Livingston, said the caller had dialled 911 claiming to be an occupant of the property who had shot his father and was holding his mother and sibling hostage.
The officer said Mr Finch had reached towards his waistband after he answered the door to police and that colleagues feared the man was armed, so shot him.
Speaking at a news conference, he confirmed that Mr Finch was actually unarmed and that no one at the address was injured.
The man’s family said he was not involved in online gaming.
US media reports suggest the hoax call had followed a dispute between two online gamers playing first-person shooter Call of Duty.
However, the address that was raided was not connected to either player.
Mr Livingston called the incident “tragic and senseless”.
“The irresponsible actions of the prankster put people and lives at risk,” he said.
“The incident was a nightmare for everyone involved, including the family and our police department.
“Due to the actions of a prankster, we have an innocent victim. Had the false police call not been made, we would not have been there.”
The arrest comes after Mr Finch’s mother, Lisa Finch, said her son had been “murdered”.
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