[UPDATE: An arrest has been made.]
A 28 year old father of two is now dead because of swatting – a “prank” where police are tricked into sending a SWAT team in on someone, usually a livestreamer, based on false information. Andrew Finch of Wichita, Kansas was shot and killed by police on the night of December 28 after he was the victim of a swatting prank that was seemingly perpetuated by two Call of Duty: WW2 players who were angry with each other after losing a wager match that had $1.50 on the line.
Details on the incident remain somewhat unclear at the time of this writing, but the sequence of events appears to be as follows. Teammates began arguing after losing a real money wager match in Call of Duty: WW2, and threatened each other with swatting. An incorrect address was then supplied to police, and Andrew Finch, who had nothing to do with the wager match at all, was shot and killed after answering his door.
According to Lisa Finch, Andrew’s mother, police were told that there was an ongoing hostage situation at the Finch household. It’s unclear at this point why police shot Andrew after he willingly opened the door, as he was unarmed and there were apparently no firearms in the house at all.
Police are still investigating the incident and the person who made the call has yet to be publicly identified. If caught, they may face significantly more jail time than they would otherwise for causing Andrew Finch’s death.
This latest incident makes it clearer than ever before that swatting is a serious crime that can have horrific consequences. However, as unfortunate as it may be, we don’t see Andrew Finch’s death deterring future criminals from swatting their victims. After all, these individuals are clearly not concerned with the consequences of their actions, or else they wouldn’t participate in such a dangerous “prank” to begin with.