Fatal Call of Duty swatting legal case settled for $5 million

Fatal Call of Duty swatting legal case settled for $5 million
Infinity Ward

Written by 

Jack Marsh


24th Mar 2023 12:38

The unsettling phenomenon that is swatting has become strangely popular and even somewhat accepted as a price of fame in the gaming and streaming industry. 

Swatting in the process of calling the police on another person, falsely, resulting in the engagement of emergency law enforcement (calling in the SWAT team, hence its name).

But as a stark reminder of just how dangerous this process actually is, and closure for the family of an innocent man, courts in America have settled on a five-year-long lawsuit in which one person lost their life.

$5 million settlement agreed with family of Call of Duty swatting victim

According to reports out of Kansas, America, the Wichita City Council has reached a $5 million settlement with the family of Andrew Flinch, over a swatting incident, after the hoax was called in over a game of Call of Duty.

As reported by The Wichita Eagle, the settlement was approved on Tuesday, after a five-year lawsuit against Wichita police detective Justin Rapp, who fatally shot 28-year-old Finch whose address was randomly given out during an online feud between two Call of Duty players.

The Swatting resulted from an argument between two Call of Duty: WWII players, Casey Viner and Shane Gaskill, back in 2017.

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Reports suggest that Viner hired "serial swatter" Tyler Barriss, who reported a false hostage and murder situation at the home of Gaskill. Still, Gaskill gave out a fake address, which ended up being that of Flinch.

Flinch, who had no connection to the matter, had no prior run-ins with the police, and had a squeaky clean record, was shot on sight by the police officer Justin Rapp, after he approached the SWAT team unaware that he was a "target".

Barriss, the hired assailant of Viner, has been sentenced to 20 years behind bars for involuntary manslaughter, while Viner was sentenced to 15 months and given a two-year gaming ban. 

The $5 million settlement to the family of Flinch will be split 40:60 between the council and insurance respectively.

Finch family spokesperson AlmaAnn Jones told The Wichita Eagle, "It has been difficult to say the very least. I’ve watched this family go through disappointment after disappointment after disappointment and finally today we came together as a community. We got this done."

Swatting has not slowed down though, as the likes of Ludwig Ahgren was swatted whilst live last year, and Felix "xQc" Lengyel was forced to move out of his house after 'daily swatting' occurrences.

It does seem that the police have become slightly more accustomed to Swats though, as one policeman in America even started a hype train for Warzone streamer "Nadia" as she was swatted whilst live last year too.

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