Wichita man sentenced in ‘swatting’ case that led to death

Posted at 8:36 PM, September 26, 2022 and last updated 3:03 PM, July 14, 2023

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Wichita man was sentenced Monday to 18 months in prison for his role in a hoax phone call that led police to shoot and kill an innocent man in 2017.

Shane Gaskill was sentenced after pleading guilty in May to wire fraud, KSN reported. He was originally placed on probation but faced renewed prosecution after violating the terms of his probation.

Prosecutors said Gaskill got into an argument in December 2017 with Ohio gamer Casey Viner over a $1.50 bet. Using an old Wichita address Gaskill had given him, Viner persuaded Tyler Barris in Los Angeles to call Wichita police and say a kidnapping and shooting had happened at the address, prosecutors said.

It’s called “swatting,” a form of retaliation in which someone makes a false report to police to send first responders, including SWAT teams, to someone’s address.

Andrew Finch, 28, who lived at the address, was shot and killed by police after he opened the front door to see what was going on outside.

Barris was sentenced to 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to 51 counts of making fake emergency calls and threats around the country, including the one that led to Finch’s death.

Viner served 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice.