A Calgary Police Service investigation into a fraudulent 911 call indicating the caller had shot has father and was holding members of his family hostage in southwest Calgary has resulted in arrest warrants against a high-profile swatting suspect from Los Angeles.

According to CPS officials, officers and members of the TAC team responded to an apartment building in the 2300 block of 17B Street S.W. in the evening hours of Friday, December 22, 2017 after a shooting and hostage taking was reported to 911.

While CPS members contained the scene and evacuated neighbouring units, a second call was placed to 911 from a resident of the building who believed she had been the victim of swatting, a type of harassment where emergency personnel is called to the victim’s location.

The female victim exited the building and approached the officers and police determined the reports of a shooting and hostage situation were fraudulent.

“This call concerned us because it was very specific,” said Acting Duty Inspector Peter Siegenthaler of the CPS. “It sounded very real. It took us a bit of time to confirm that this call was in fact a hoax.”

Investigators believe the victim was targeted following an online encounter earlier that same day.

Police have identified the suspect as Tyler Raj Barriss, a 25-year-old from Los Angeles, California, who has been named as a suspect in similar swatting offences.

“We were able to track the footprint that that person left behind,” said Siegenthaler. “I think people need to realize that this is a real crime.”

Arrest warrants have been issued for Barriss on charges including:

  • Public mischief: falsely reporting that an offence has been committed
  • Fraud: false information by letter or telecommunication
  • Mischief

On Thursday, December 28, Andrew Finch of Wichita, Kansas was fatally shot by a member of the Wichita Police Department following a hoax 911 call. Barris faces a charge of making a false alarm in connection with the 911 call that brought police to Finch's residence.