The Latest: Police blame prankster for Wichita shooting

AP News
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Posted: Dec 29, 2017 7:08 PM
The Latest: Police blame prankster for Wichita shooting

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on officer shooting, killing man while investigating false report (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Police in Wichita, Kansas, say a prankster who lured police to a home in a "swatting" incident is responsible for a fatal officer-involved shooting.

A 28-year-old man was fatally shot by an officer Thursday. Relatives have identified him as Andrew Finch.

Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston said at a news conference Friday that a prankster called 911 claiming to be an occupant of the home, saying he had shot his father and was holding his mother and a sibling hostage.

When police showed up, Finch went to the front door. Livingston says that when Finch reached toward his waistband, an officer feared he had a gun and shot him.

Livingston says Finch was unarmed and no one in the house was hurt.

The practice of making a false report to get a SWAT team to a location is known as "swatting." It is most common among online gamers, but relatives say Finch was not a gamer.

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3:20 p.m.

The FBI is investigating the fatal police-involved shooting of a man in Wichita, Kansas.

A supervisor at the FBI office in Kansas City, Missouri, confirmed Friday that agents have been asked to join the investigation into the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch. She declined further comment.

Authorities are investigating whether the shooting on Thursday stemmed from someone making up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend upon Finch's home. The practice known as "swatting" is more common among online gamers.

Police say they were misled by a call indicating a homicide and hostage situation at the home. Finch was shot by an officer when he opened the door of the family home. His mother told the Wichita Eagle that her son was unarmed.

A spokeswoman says a company that runs online gaming tournaments is assisting authorities. UMG Gaming operates online gaming tournaments, including one for the Call of Duty game.

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3:05 p.m.

Kansas law makes some false calls to police a felony that can be punished up to 13 months in prison for a first-time offender.

Authorities are investigating whether the shooting of a 28-year-old Wichita man by a police officer Thursday stemmed from someone making up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend upon a home. The practice is known as "swatting."

In Kansas, it is a misdemeanor to make a false call for emergency, fire or police services. It's a felony to use an electronic device or software to conceal the caller's identity.

It's a more severe felony if the call falsely claims to be about violent crime or an immediate danger to a person. While a 13-month prison sentence is possible, the presumed sentence is probation.

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1:40 p.m.

A spokeswoman says a company that runs online gaming tournaments is assisting authorities as they investigate the fatal shooting by a police officer of a Kansas man.

UMG Gaming operates online gaming tournaments, including one for the Call of Duty game.

UMG spokeswoman Shannon Gerritzen said in an email that the company is "doing everything we can to assist the authorities."

Authorities are investigating whether the shooting of 28-year-old Andrew Finch in Wichita stemmed from someone making up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend upon a home. The practice known as "swatting" is more common among online gamers.

Police have said they were called to Finch's home Thursday by a false report of a homicide and hostage situation and an officer shot him.

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1:15 p.m.

The mother of a Kansas man killed by police responding to a false report of a homicide and hostage situation says her son was "murdered."

Lisa Finch told The Wichita Eagle that her son, Andrew Finch, was unarmed when he opened the door to the family's home Thursday night after hearing something. She said he screamed and was shot. She said the family then was forced outside barefoot in freezing cold and that her granddaughter was forced to step over her dying uncle.

Police are investigating whether the call that led police to the home was a so-called "swatting" prank in which someone makes up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend upon a home. It's more common among online gamers, although Lisa Finch says he didn't play video games.

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12:30 p.m.

A relative has identified a man shot and killed by a police officer investigating a false report of a homicide and hostage situation in Kansas.

Madeline Finch says the man killed Thursday in a Wichita home was her nephew, Andrew Finch. She said the family was "saddened" but declined to comment further. Police are investigating whether the call that led police to the home was a so-called "swatting" prank in which someone makes up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend upon a home.

Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston says a 28-year-old man was shot as he came to the front door. Livingston didn't say what caused the officer to shoot the man or whether he was armed. No one else was wounded in the home.

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11:30 a.m.

Authorities are investigating whether a deadly police shooting in Wichita stemmed from someone making up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend upon a home in a practice known as "swatting."

Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston says the shooting happened Thursday while an officer was responding to a report that someone had been accidentally fatally shot and that three people were being held hostage. He says a 28-year-old man was shot as he came to the front door. No one else was wounded in the home.

Livingston didn't say what caused the officer to shoot or whether the man was armed. WIBW-TV reports that he says police are investigating whether the call was a prank.

Swatting is believed to be more common among the online gaming community.

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8:50 a.m.

Police say an officer has shot and killed a man in Wichita while investigating a report of a homicide and hostage situation that later was found to be false.

The Wichita Eagle reports that the shooting happened Thursday night. Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston says the officer was responding to a report that someone had been accidentally fatally shot and that the shooter was holding three people hostage. He said a 28-year-old man was shot as he came to the front door.

Livingston didn't say what caused the officer to shoot the man or whether he was armed. Livingston said that when officers got inside the house, they didn't find anyone with gunshot wounds. Several people inside the home are being interviewed as part of an investigation into the shooting.