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Crime and Courts

Tyler Barriss Facing More Federal Charges, This Time In Washington

Stephan Bisaha
Kansas News Service/File photo
Tyler Barriss now faces criminal charges for allegedly phoning in bomb threats to the Federal Communications Commission and FBI.

Tyler Barriss, already facing state and federal charges in Kansas related to a fatal swatting incident in Wichita, is facing more charges in Washington, D.C.

Barriss, 25, was indicted this week in federal court in Washington, D.C., for allegedly phoning in bomb threats to the Federal Communications Commission and the headquarters of the FBI. The call to the FCC came on Dec. 14, the indictment says, and the call to the FBI on Dec. 22.

The call to the FCC came as the agency was preparing to vote on rolling back net neutrality rules. Officials cleared the hearing room, according to news reports, and used dogs to sweep the room for an explosive device.

The call to the FBI came less than a week before authorities say Barriss made a hoax call to Wichita police. In that call, police say, he told emergency dispatchers he had killed his father and was holding hostages.

More than a dozen officers responded to the address given by Barriss to dispatchers and killed Andrew Finch when Finch stepped onto his porch to see what was happening. Police said they thought Finch, who was unarmed, was reaching for a weapon when he was shot.

Court documents indicate Barriss made the call from Los Angeles on behalf of another man involved in an online gaming dispute with a Wichita man. According to police, Finch was not involved in the dispute.

Barriss is awaiting trial on several counts in Sedgwick County District Court, including involuntary manslaughter. He and the two men involved in the online gaming dispute also were charged in federal court in Kansas this week.

Barriss faces several charges in that federal case, including making a hoax report to emergency services, cyberstalking, wire fraud and conspiracy. Some of the charges carry a sentence of up to life in prison.

Tom Shine is director of news and public affairs at KMUW. Follow him on Twitter @thomaspshine.