Ramsey says it's not hard for gamers to find someone's address to give out, even if they are located in another country. The FBI estimates that roughly 400 cases of swatting occur annually.
Wichita Deputy Police Chief Troy Livingston told the media that the police officer saw Finch reach for his waistband, and believed he had a gun.
In audio of the 911 call played by Wichita police at a news conference, a man said he shot his father in the head and that he was holding his mother and brother at gunpoint.
Police entered the house and found no one dead or injured and no hostages inside, Mr Livingston said. "A male came to the front door, and one of our officers discharged his weapon".
When police headed to the home, they surrounded it and prepared to deal with a hostage situation. And it isn't known what cause the officer to shoot him on sight.
The Eagle report reads that "Police don't think the man [Finch] fired at police". Finch died a few minutes later at a hospital. A report from The Wichita Eagle suggested two gamers were allegedly arguing over a Call of Duty wager match-one of the gamers provided Finch's address instead of his own when his opponent threatened to swat him.
"This call was little peculiar for us".
Livingston called the shooting "tragic and senseless". "That was the information we were working off of".
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The key to the shooting appears to be Twitter, where more than a dozen individuals have identified themselves as being part of the Call of Duty gaming community.
This tweet came from the gamer many claim is responsible for the swatting prank. In a since-deleted tweet on his now-suspended Twitter account, SWAuTistic denied responsibility for the attacks ... but didn't deny making the call. "Two teammates [on the losing team] who go by the handles "Miruhcle" and "Baperizer" got into an argument following a loss", summarized GameInformer, "over public Twitter posts and private direct messages with each other". This resulted in the police arriving at a nearby home where an innocent man was apparently enjoying a quiet night sans any actual hostages.
"Specifically phone spoofing, which is showing that you're coming from a different phone number, freaking, which is using some different technologies to kind of mask who you are", said Ramsey.
The person who was supposed to be the target of the prank tweeted: 'Someone tried to swat me and got an innocent man killed'.
"Normally this is a prank, but due to the high stress situation, sometimes it is closer to a death threat from a user trying to get cops to kill them". He did not mention reports that an argument over online gaming was at the heart of the prank, although he said investigators had made good progress tracking online leads.
The officer, a seven-year veteran of the department, is on paid leave pending the investigation.