Fortnite winner becomes SWAT target
Some jealous competitor may have taken out his frustration in a terrible way
After winning the Fortnite World Cup last month for $3 million, 16-year-old Kyle Giersdorf’s life changed dramatically. While he is most likely still living on a cloud of euphoria due to his sudden payday and fame, it isn’t all fun and games for the video game champ. This past Saturday, while streaming an episode of his Fortnite action, he was paid a visit by a SWAT team.
Referred to as swatting, there have been a great number of similar “pranks” seen over the past couple of years. Someone makes an anonymous, usually untraceable, call to the police in the area where the target leaves. That call claims some incredibly dangerous activity is occurring and the SWAT team is forced to respond. In the case of Giersdorf, the caller told law enforcement that he had killed his father.
The identity of the caller isn’t known, and police only suspect that he or she lives somewhere in Europe – too big to canvas. It could have been a disgruntled or jealous competitor, a misguided fan of a competitor, or just someone without enough brains to fill a thimble. Regardless, the situation was quickly extinguished after police realized who lived at the residence and everything was cleared up within half an hour, according to Giersdorf.
It could have been much worse. When Andrew Finch inadvertently became a target last year, SWAT officers descended on his home, where he was shot and killed. The swatting was actually meant for the tenant who resided in the home before Finch and Tyler R. Barriss from Los Angeles was ultimately identified as the caller. He is now serving 20 years behind bars.