back to article Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges

One of three people charged over the December 2017 “swatting” death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch in the US has pleaded guilty. Tyler Barriss, 25, was indicted in May for making a bogus 911 call to police in Wichita, Kansas, urging officers to send out a SWAT team. As a result, on December 28, the cops showed up outside Finch's …


        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: Fractured

          What's odd about that ?

          Clearly, some people have only one arm. It's caused by birth defects, accidents, medical trauma .. a variety of possibilities. We're all likely to have met someone with less than two arms.

          In many statistics, such deviations from the norm are balanced against similar deviations on the other side. There are people under 6 feet in height but there are also people over that.

          But there are vanishingly few people with more than two arms. Perhaps a tiny number of birth defects. No accidents. No medical issues (Zaphod Beeblebrox is fictional). So they won't balance out the numbers with less than two arms, and the average (the mean, that-is) is below two.

          Statisticians know that mean averages can sometimes obscure the truth and so they have other averaging methods to choose from. The median average (middle of the distribution) will still be less than two but perhaps higher than the mean. Modal average (the most common occurrence) will be a solid two.


          Yes, it is very common for the inappropriate method to be used to calculate such an average. Often intentionally, in order to mislead the reader - hence the phrase 'lies, damned lies and statistics'.

          1. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Fractured

            "Statisticians know that mean averages can sometimes obscure the truth and so they have other averaging methods to choose from. The median average (middle of the distribution) will still be less than two but perhaps higher than the mean. Modal average (the most common occurrence) will be a solid two.


            The mode is the most common number, so it is 2 in this case. The median is the amount of arms the person in the middle of the line has, when the people are ordered by number of arms (or the mean of the two in the middle if there are an even number of people). In this case it is therefore also 2.

          2. CRConrad

            No it isn't.

            The median value of number of arms a person has is most probably NOT less than two, but exactly two.

        2. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

          Re: Fractured

          A similar "statistic" is the quite odd one that the average person has less than two arms.

          Not strictly correct; the average person has two arms. However, on average, people have less than two arms. The first is the average of people, the second is the average of people's arms. It's a subtle, but important, difference in semantics.

          1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

            Re: Fractured

            It's a subtle, but important, difference in semantics.

            Really it's just the difference between the mode and the mean.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Fractured

      While somebody may own more than one firearm, they can only fire one (with any accuracy) at a time. Carrying ten much less using ten is a big chore and off of the charts. Most enthusiasts and hunters will have a few. A couple of pistols, a shotgun and a couple of rifles. If you are shooting varmits, you take a small caliber rifle. You'll explode a squirrel with a round used for deer hunting. You may want an even bigger bullet if you hunt bear for the stopping power. You may also want a rifle with good range for different types of game.

      I have to laugh at the news reports that put in bold type that the police found thousands of rounds of ammo at a home. It can be very hard to get some sizes since the government might be on a buying spree for the weather service (look up NOAA's ammo requisitions). Collectable and odd firearms might require unusual ammo and you buy that as you find it. It might only be produced once or twice a year in limited runs. Also, if 22 caliber ammo is on sale, it's good to stock up. A thousand rounds of .22 isn't a big deal if you like to go target shooting. It's a small round and usually very inexpensive making it perfect for plinking cans and not worrying about it bouncing off of a rock and coming back towards the line.

  1. Jim-234

    This is what happens when there is no accountability on the part of the police

    Yes some evil characters called in a fake threat.

    That is not what killed the innocent unarmed man who did nothing wrong.

    Trigger happy police who are all jacked up on power and control & just want to kill somebody did it.

    The police "officer" that shot him was in no way in danger, they were nice and safely far away watching him and pointing a rifle at him.

    The real crime here is that NOTHING is going to happen to the actual murderer (the police shooter) or his stupid boss or the whole stupid clown circus of them.

    So it will happen again and again because if you can just gun people down and never be called into account for it, no matter how much killing you do, then why would you ever care.

    If some nutjob can make a crank call from half a continent away and you and your supposed "police" show up and murder (yes I said MURDER) an innocent unarmed man in the middle of the night for NO good reason, then that police force should all be looking for new jobs the next day.

    Then if your society refuses to act against those killer police and simply lets them go about their business with no accountability for those that did the killing, they can't claim any moral outrage next time someone decides if they are going to be killed anyways, they might as well take a few of the "police" with them.

    The whole issue of "Gun laws" and also the amount of guilt the hoax callers share is besides the main point.

    There is an epidemic in the USA of Police feeling above the law and just shooting anyone they want.

    1. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: This is what happens when there is no accountability on the part of the police

      I fell out for a few years with a left-wing US ex when she bought herself a gun. She rationalised that "Every idiot here has a gun so I need one too."

      To be fair she was in Arizona at the time. I learned to shoot a rifle aged 11 in the centre of Edinburgh, but we didn't get to take our guns off range. I've always opposed British cops being armed routinely because USA, but lately with guns coming into the criminal and terrorist communities from Europe I support limited police increased armament when the officers pass regular psychological and marksmanship tests.

      There is a weird yet relevant 1994 album that is worth a listen:

      S.W.A.T.: Deep Inside A Cop's Mind - Cops Are The Only Real People Left

  2. MachDiamond Silver badge


    There was an interesting Mythbusters (the orginal series) where Adam was the perp and Jamie the cop. Adam would attempt to stab Jamie with a fake knife before Jaime could draw and fire his gun. Adam started from a fair distance back (can't remember) and then started from a closer and closer point until he could win every time. That distance was 18'-20'. Pace that off and see how far it is and realize that Jamie knew that Adam was going to lunge at him. Disregard the knife and gun and see that an officer is in a vulnerable position and also why the cry of "they were unarmed" is silly. Finding that somebody didn't have a weapon is only know afterwards. Once a person is within a certain distance, they have a good chance of injuring or killing the officer before the officer can bring lethal or non-lethal measures to bear from a stowed position. A weedy meth addict with no weapon is one thing, officers need to be in good physical condition, but a big bloke (or lady) or somebody with martial arts/boxing training can have them down and out in a big hurry.

    The following isn't about being a sheep, it's about not being shot. Do what a police officer tells you and don't do anything else until you are asked. You may not know why they have stopped you and they aren't going to explain themselves to you up front. It sucks, it's demeaning, it's embarrassing, but it's not likely to put in hospital or a morgue to comply. Once they have you in cuffs and patted down for weapons, they'll be in a position to talk with you and you to them. The same thing applies to muggers and store robbers. If anybody is pointing a gun at you, do what they say. If you are in gun-free Britan <sarc> and they are threatening to chop your arm off with a machete if you don't hand over your wallet or purse/phone/tablet/expensive dog, same thing. If it's a black hat and you are looking at a rape, kidnapping or some other physical torture, maybe you do want to take the chance at running or fighting back, but that shouldn't be an issue with the police. Not in the first world anyway.


      Re: Mythbusters

      That is ridiculous, because of course it take a long time to draw a gun out of a holster, but police always pull their gun out way ahead of time, so is totally irrelevant.

      Not only that, but a knife is almost useless if the opponent has ANY tiny amount of training, not to mention a club, mace, taser, etc.

      The reality is that you can still EASILY shoot someone coming at you with a knife, even if they are starting from only 2 feet away, if you already have the firearm out of the holster.

      While you should do whatever any armed person says, it is illegal, dangerous, and wrong for police to even point a gun at someone who is not already armed and indicating a clear threat.

      Almost everything police do is illegal, from no-knock raids, to putting people in jail over drug charges.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Mythbusters

        I'm not sure where you live, but it's not common practice for a police officer to have his weapon out every time they interact with somebody. Again, not sure what laws you are living under but a police officer can point their weapon at you legally if they believe you are a threat without knowing if you are armed or not. Most police officers are not going to have their gun pointed at somebody unless they are prepared to fire anyway so it's not worth arguing about. If you don't like the drug laws, advocate for changing them, but while they are on the books, it is not only legal but imperative that police officers enforce them. Courts have upheld no-knock raids so they are "legal" regardless of whether you think they are or not. I happen to think they are too dangerous a tactic to use, but I'm not a legislator or a judge.

        My original post was to illustrate that "unarmed" is a post facto determination. For news agencies to decry that a victim was "unarmed" only stirs up emotion even though it means nothing at the time of the incident. It also was meant to show that if you are not complying with an officers instructions you could be a threat to them when as far away as 18ft.


    NO! It is the POLICE who bear full responsibility for shooting an innocent person.

    They are not supposed to go off like that based on a phone call, under any circumstances.

    It would not at all have been hard for them to have called the neighbors, used binoculars, use a parabolic mic to listen in, etc. and to have avoided the illegal armed confrontation,

    The police also legally were supposed to have gone before a judge and gotten a warrant.

    Everything they did was totally and completely illegal.

  4. Oh_bollocks

    The thread is a breath of fresh air. Try bringing up the "police could maybe share responsibility" angle in a US based forum and people explode as if you've gone crazy.

    Thank you all for not being patently blind!


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