Kansas gamer pleads guilty for role in fatal ‘swatting’ case

May 3, 2022, 10:46 PM | Updated: May 4, 2022, 10:57 am

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas man has pleaded guilty to his role in a hoax call that led to a fatal shooting of an innocent bystander by Wichita police in 2017.

Shane Gaskell, 23, pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to wire fraud in case that drew national attention to “swatting,” during which a caller falsely reports a crime that is dangerous enough to send a SWAT team to the location, The Wichita Eagle reported.

The “swatting” call on Dec. 28, 2017, led to the death of 28-year-old Andrew Finch, who was shot by Wichita police as he opened the door of his home to see why police were outside.

In his plea Tuesday, Gaskell said he got into an argument with another online gamer, Casey Viner, of North College Hill, Ohio, and gave him an old address. Viner recruited another gamer, Tyler Barriss, of Los Angeles, to falsely report a shooting and kidnapping at Gaskell’s old address. A Wichita officer shot Finch after responding to Barriss’ call.

After hearing about the fatal shooting, Gaskill suggested Viner and Barriss “alter or destroy their communications” with him and deleted his message threads, his plea agreement says.

Federal prosecutors initially agreed to an 18-month pretrial diversion program for Gaskill that would have allowed several original charges to be dropped. But prosecutors resumed prosecution in September 2021 after they said Gaskill violated the terms of his diversion.

Gaskill will be sentenced July 21.

Barriss is serving 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty in April 2019 to 51 counts associated with the Wichita swatting and other hoax emergency calls across the U.S.

Viner was sentenced in September 2019 to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy and obstruction of justice.

The officer involved in the shooting was not charged.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Malaysia Airlines planes taxi at a terminal while taking passengers at Kuala Lumpur Internat...
Associated Press

Malaysia aims to add US flights after safety rating boost

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration has upgraded Malaysia’s air safety rating to Category 1, allowing the country’s carriers to expand flights to the United States after a three-year hiatus, Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said Saturday. Wee said the move will bolster tourism and economic growth in Malaysia, which opened […]
1 day ago
FILE - China's ambassador in Geneva ambassador Chen Xu makes a media statement criticising the U.S....
Associated Press

Western push on China, Russia at UN rights body faces test

GENEVA (AP) — Western countries are leading a rare two-pronged push at the U.N.’s main human rights body to better scrutinize the human rights records of two big world powers: China, over allegations of abuses during an anti-extremism campaign in western Xinjiang, and Russia, over its government’s crackdown on dissent and protest against the war […]
1 day ago
Russian President Vladimir Putin joins hands with Moscow-appointed head of Kherson Region Vladimir ...
Associated Press

Russia accused of ‘kidnapping’ head of Ukraine nuclear plant

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukraine’s nuclear power provider accused Russia on Saturday of “kidnapping” the head of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant, a facility now occupied by Russian troops and located in a region of Ukraine that Russian President Vladimir Putin has moved to annex illegally. Russian forces seized the director-general of the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear […]
1 day ago
Associated Press

Athletics take 5-game losing streak into matchup against the Mariners

Oakland Athletics (56-101, fifth in the AL West) vs. Seattle Mariners (86-70, second in the AL West) Seattle; Saturday, 4:10 p.m. EDT PITCHING PROBABLES: Athletics: JP Sears (6-3, 4.22 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 45 strikeouts); Mariners: Luis Castillo (7-6, 3.06 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 159 strikeouts) FANDUEL SPORTSBOOK LINE: Mariners -268, Athletics +218; over/under is 6 1/2 […]
1 day ago
FILE - Latvia's Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins speaks with the media as he arrives for an EU summi...
Associated Press

Latvian leader’s party expected to fare well in election

HELSINKI (AP) — Polling stations opened Saturday in Latvia for a general election influenced by neighboring Russia’s attack on Ukraine, disintegration among the Baltic country’s sizable ethnic-Russian minority and the economy, particularly high energy prices. Several polls showed the center-right New Unity party of Prime Minister Krisjanis Karins emerging as the top vote-getter with up […]
1 day ago
The founder Te-Wang Lin of the Taiwan People Communist Party places a Chinese police hat down on th...
Associated Press

Hong Kong leader promises revival on China’s National Day

BEIJING (AP) — Hong Kong’s leader promised Saturday to revive its struggling economy following a campaign to crush a pro-democracy movement as China’s ruling Communist Party marked its 73rd anniversary in power under strict anti-virus controls. In Beijing, crowds of spectators watched a 96-member honor guard raise the Chinese flag on Tiananmen Square in the […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Kansas gamer pleads guilty for role in fatal ‘swatting’ case