CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — A Los Angeles man accused of making a hoax emergency call that led to the fatal police shooting of a Kansas man is charged with making a similar call in Canada days earlier.
Police in Calgary said in a news release that warrants have been issued for Tyler Barriss, 25, who is charged with public mischief, fraud and mischief. He’s accused of calling authorities on Dec. 22 and claiming that he had shot his father and was holding his mother and younger brother hostage, the release said.
Officers descended on an apartment building and were evacuating people when a woman called police and said she believed she was the victim of “swatting,” in which a person makes up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend on an address. The woman walked out of her apartment unharmed and police were able to confirm the call was false. The release said it is believed the woman was “targeted because of her online persona.”
A similar bogus call on Dec. 28 about a shooting and kidnapping led police in Wichita, Kansas, to rush to a home where Andrew Finch, 28, was shot and killed after opening his door. Police said the unarmed Finch was given commands to keep his hands raised, but he reached toward his waistline multiple times. Barriss is awaiting extradition from California to Kansas, where he is charged with making a false alarm.
Barriss has a history of making bogus calls to authorities. He was released from the Los Angeles County jail last year after serving less than half of a two-year and eight month sentence for phoning in two fake bomb threats in 2015 that cleared out the KABC-TV studio in nearby Glendale. The Wichita Eagle reported that his 62-year-old grandmother also sought a restraining order in 2015 from a California court, writing that Barris had made “constant threats to beat my face bloody.”
Barriss’ California-based public defender, Mearl Lottman, didn’t immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press. Acting Duty Insp. Peter Siegenthaler, of the Calgary Police Service, said it’s unlikely that Barriss will be extradited to Canada, but that he would be arrested if he entered the country.