Serial swatter off to jail for "at least 20 years"

Originally published at:


I wasn’t sure whether this was the same guy whose story was making the rounds before. But of course it isn’t.

Are there clues out there as to whether that perp was actually released on schedule?


A California man has admitted making a hoax call that ultimately led police to fatally shoot a Kansas man following a dispute between online gamers over $1.50 bet in a Call of Duty WWII video game.

$1.50 for someones life, over a video game…


Good. This is at the very least assault on the swatters part (though murder in this case) and they should be treated as such. If you hire someone to murder a guy - you’re still guilty of murder.


20 years in jail might be enough time for this shithead.


Normally I wouldn’t be in favor of putting someone in a cage high up on the castle walls so everyone can see what happens when you do something like this…


Good fucking riddance. May he serve as a warning to every other vile asshole who wants to try swatting.


The police isn’t supposed to be murderers for hire, and that’s the real problem. Making a malicious call shouldn’t be able to get anyone killed.


They aren’t supposed to, but they are so as long as they are… swatting is always attempted homicide.


No they’re not. But if you know that someone will hurt someone and you make that happen - there’s more than one real problem.


What is with the final paragraph suggesting the real problem is the police response. The blame here lies 100% with they guy creating dozens of incredibly dangerous situations. Eventually one of them was going to have a sad outcome. It is a testament to the various police forces that more of his “pranks” didn’t head with injury or death.


Wrong. The fact that any injuries and deaths occur at all in swatting cases is a testament to the militarized, hyperviolent methods that various police forces use.


What is with the final paragraph suggesting the real problem is the police response

Wait for it …

creating dozens of incredibly dangerous situations

There it is. The situations are incredibly dangerous because of the hypermilitarized police response.

Of course we can play chicken-and-egg and argue that the real problem is the easy availability of highly dangerous weapons to unstable individuals, arguably making aggressive policing somewhat more proportional to the threat. But–as with so many other problems–the best response is to try to address both of those issues, not to exacerbate both of them in an ever-escalating arms race that we claim to be unable to do anything about.


Even if a shooting by the police in a swatting situation had become justified – say the fellow starts shooting at the police (obviously, not here) – the SWATer could still well be charged under the felony murder rule, for calling in a malicious police raid, which (I assume) is a felony.

Recall that even if my co-bank robber is the only guy shot and killed by police, I’m on the hook for his murder.


I hope they limit this guy’s phone privileges.


At the very least, this should qualify for assault with a deadly weapon, the “weapon” being the SWAT team. It is not a “practical joke” if the absolutely predictable result is a bunch of armed folks on a hair trigger who legitimately think they are walking into a potentially deadly situation showing up at the victim’s door. The outcome is quite apparent to anyone with a brain, that there is a very significantly nonzero chance that someone dies. He did tjis dozens of times. You role the dice that many times, they will come up snake eyes eventually.


KS resident here: the man who died wasn’t even invoked in the gaming. The gamer with the grudge gave the swatter the wrong address. The trigger-happy cop knocked and opened fire as soon as the door was opened. And, his family got to step over his body when their home became a crime scene. For $1.50.


Yes. I think of German police. In a country of 83M people in 2015 they fired only 101 bulletsm 48 of which were warning shots. That’s less than one bullet fired at a human being per million people in the country. The US has about three humans killed by police per million people. No one is even counting bullets.

Somehow I think swatting in Germany wouldn’t count as “incredibly dangerous”. Maybe unacceptably dangerous, and the swatter would still be on the hook for murder if somehow it did turn fatal. But the odds of it turning fatal would obviously be very low.


I disagree. Regardless of whether we’re talking about punishment for the actual crime or preventing this individual from repeating a clearly established pattern of dangerous behavior, 20 years isn’t nearly long enough. Barriss represents a threat to society that isn’t likely to diminish over a lifetime. Such an individual should remain under permanent supervision.


Vile as he is, Barriss is just a trigger: the bomb is police enthusiasm for deadly violence on the slightest pretext.

This, so, so this. They have things at their disposal that were strictly the realm of science fiction not much more than a decade ago–in particular, drones and RANGE-R devices, the latter being an imaging device that effectively allows them to see through walls–and in spite of that, they’re even more prone to come bursting through the door and gun down your entire damned family without ever once stopping to consider whether or not what they’re doing makes any sense at all.

The notion appears to be, “they can’t escalate the situation if we start at MAXIMUM ESCALATION!” This is actually the worst way of handling a situation like this. I’ve read a number of books by people whose job it has been at some time or another to deal with things like hostage situations or armed standoffs. Exactly none of them have recommended going in hot and loud as even a second or third option.

Good law enforcement, and by extension, good officers of the law rarely needs violence, and when it is needed, it should be dispassionate and calculated to do the most good with the least damage. Whenever a police officer justifies shooting someone “because they were scared” they should lose their badge and gun permanently on the spot. If you want the privilege of working in law enforcement, you need to be the kind of person who can experience danger without panicking and frantically discharging their weapon. There’s a couple of bars one has to clear to be trusted with a job like that, and that’s sure as hell one of them.