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Police officer shot after responding to wrong home

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ATLANTA (AP) — A police officer was shot and critically wounded Monday when he responded to a call of a suspicious person and showed up at the wrong house, authorities said.

The homeowner was also shot in the leg and his dog was killed in what DeKalb County police Chief Cedric Alexander is calling a complicated shooting. Officers fired their weapons, the chief said, but it’s not clear if the homeowner had a gun.

Alexander said his department would typically handle the investigation since it did not involve a fatality, but because of the unusual situation, he asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into it.

“We did respond to the wrong residence tonight and then these other circumstances unfolded,” he said.

Alexander said the situation happened like this: A neighborhood resident called 911 at 7:34 p.m. to report a suspicious person and described a home to the dispatcher. Three officers responded to a house that fit the description the caller gave 911. The officers went to the back of the home and found that a screen door and a rear door were unlocked.

“That in and of itself would probably suggest to anyone that it is possible that there could be intruders inside, but it turned out not to be the case,” Alexander said. “Somewhere at the rear of that home, some things happened that have yet to be determined.”

The officers had just entered the home when the gunfire erupted.

“There was gunfire, I just cannot tell you who fired and who did not,” he said.

Atlanta-based officer was shot Monday evening, Aug. 31, 2015. Screen shot from video.
Atlanta-based officer was shot Monday evening, Aug. 31, 2015. Screen shot from video.

An officer was shot in the leg and lost a lot of blood. He was rushed to the hospital and was undergoing surgery. The homeowner was also taken to the hospital.

The homeowner’s girlfriend was at the home at the time of the shooting and called 911.

Derek Perez told The Associated Press that he reported the suspicious person. He said he was walking his dog when he saw a man knock on a neighbor’s door and then just stand in the yard. He said he then heard a loud noise, a dog barking and didn’t see the man anymore. There had been break-ins in the neighborhood recently, so he called 911, he said.

Just as he was about to go into his house, he heard the gunshots, but they didn’t come from the house where he had reported the suspicious person.

Police were still investigating whether there was a burglary at the home where the suspicious person was spotted.

DeKalb County police officers work at the scene where an Atlanta-based officer was shot Monday evening, Aug. 31, 2015, five miles from Atlanta. DeKalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parrish did not immediately have any details about the circumstances of the shooting. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT
DeKalb County police officers work at the scene where an Atlanta-based officer was shot Monday evening, Aug. 31, 2015, five miles from Atlanta. DeKalb County police spokeswoman Mekka Parrish did not immediately have any details about the circumstances of the shooting. (Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP) MARIETTA DAILY OUT; GWINNETT DAILY POST OUT; LOCAL TELEVISION OUT; WXIA-TV OUT; WGCL-TV OUT; MANDATORY CREDIT

All three officers have been placed on administrative leave.

The shooting happened in a neighborhood about 5 miles from downtown Atlanta.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Cops shoot and kill someone for being in the wrong home, all fine it was a mistake.
    Homeowner shoots intruders who kill his dog, “under investigation”.

  2. I hope all survive. I’m sad to read a dog was killed. Even if the home owner shot the officer, I do not think he should be charged. It is one of the hazards of being a police officer. You are willfully, knowingly putting yourself into hazardous situations. It is an assumed risk. There will be the argument about “did the police identify themselves”? Even if they did, that too is a common tactic the bad guys use to gain an upper hand.

    • So is it expected that if someone works at the post office they should expect to be gunned down by their crazy coworker?? If you drive a car you should expect to be killed by a drunk driver?? If the homeowner did shoot the officer then he should be charged. Police Officers wear uniforms and every person/police officer is responsible for making sure their bullet does not go into the wrong place/person. You cant just go shooting blindly into the unknown. Your comment is ridiculous. No person should expect to be shot by anyone. Citizens should be held just as responsible as public servants. If you own or use a gun you cant claim ignorance as your excuse.

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