A Grandfather Died in ‘Swatting’ Over His Twitter Handle, Officials Say

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“Mr. Sonderman has expressed his remorse on multiple occasions. He has expressed his regret regarding Mr. Herring’s death,” Mr. Huffman said in an email on Saturday. “Mr. Sonderman’s family had also expressed their remorse. There are many families affected by Shane’s actions, including his own family.”

Mr. Herring was targeted because he refused to sell his Twitter handle, @Tennessee, according to his family and prosecutors.

Smart, blunt and plain-spoken, Mr. Herring had loved computers since he was a teenager and joined Twitter in March 2007, less than a year after it started, his family said.

He knew people wanted his handle, which he chose because of his love for the state, where he had been born and raised, and had rebuffed offers of $3,000 to $4,000 to sell it, his daughter Corinna Fitch, 37, said in an interview.

“He would laugh it off and say, ‘I’m not selling that,’” she said.

The last time Mr. Herring was with his three daughters and their families was a month before his death, at a Sunday dinner hosted by his ex-wife, Fran Herring, who had remained friends with Mr. Herring.

Mr. Herring often came over when Ms. Herring was taking care of the grandchildren and would help bathe them and put them to bed.

“The kids called him Graggie,” because they could not say “granddaddy,” Ms. Fitch said.

He called the hours he spent with his grandchildren “Graggie time.”



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