Man shot, killed by Wichita police after fake call for help causes confusion

WICHITA, Kan. — A man died Thursday night after what appears to have been a fake call for help.

Someone told police there was a hostage situation inside a home in Wichita, Kansas. Police say there wasn’t, but amid the confusion, an officer shot and killed a 28-year-old man.

Now, Wichita police officers are busy piecing together what took place at the home near Seneca and McCormick.

“We were told that someone had an argument with their mother and dad was accidentally shot and that now that person was holding brother, sister and mother hostage,” Wichita Police Deputy Chief Troy Livingston said.

Livingston said dispatchers were told a man was shot in the head and dead inside the home as well. When officers arrived, livingston said they moved toward the home and a man came to the front door.

“As he came to the front door, one of our officers discharged his weapon,” Livingston said.

Tristan Hartshorn said he saw the whole thing.

“Came up in front of the house and you know, ripped the doors off the hinges and carried the dude out,” Hartshorn said. “I heard a huge gunshot go off. They carried the dude out of the house and put him on a stretcher and drove off in an ambulance.”

Livingston said that injured man was 28 years old. Family identified him as Andrew Thomas Finch. He was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Police said no other victims were found inside the home, and at least four people that were inside the home are safe and have been taken in for questioning.

Police and industry officials said the tragic death Thursday may have been the result of a practice called “swatting,” in which a person makes up a false report to get a SWAT team to descend on an address.

Dexerto, an online news service focused on gaming, reported that the series of events began with an online argument over a $1 or $2 wager in a “Call of Duty” game on UMG Gaming, which operates online tournaments.

The company is cooperating with police in the investigation.

The officer who fired the shot — a seven-year veteran of the police department — will be placed on administrative paid leave, which is department policy.