Officer shot by fellow officer when responding to wrong house

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A DeKalb County Police officer was critically shot by another officer when they responded to a 911 call at the wrong house Aug. 31, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The officer, who has not been identified by the police department, lost a lot of blood after being shot in the thigh, according to Cedric Alexander, the county’s deputy chief operating officer for public safety.

At approximately 7:35 p.m., three DeKalb County officers responded to a suspicious person call at a home near the intersection of Bouldercrest Road and Boulderwoods Drive.

The caller, who was on a mobile phone, did not provide a street address. The home was described as a gray brick house, Alexander said.

Officers responded to the rear of the residence and noticed that the screen door and back door were unlocked, Alexander said.

“That, in and of itself, would probably suggest to anyone that it was possible that it could be intruders inside, but it turned out not to be the case,” Alexander said.

“From what we know just very preliminarily, [the officers] identified themselves. Shortly after that, within a matter of moments, gunfire took place,” Alexander said.

According to a preliminary investigation by GBI, “Upon entry to the residence, the officers encountered a dog. Two officers fired their weapons, striking and killing the animal in the kitchen.”

The homeowner then “exited a room off the kitchen and was also shot by the responding officers,” according to GBI spokesman Scott Dutton.

Both the officer and homeowner were transported to local hospitals. The homeowner was treated and released and the officer underwent surgery and is in serious but stable condition, according to the GBI.

“Early investigation indicates that the injured officer was likely shot accidentally by one of the other officers on the scene,” Dutton stated.

“What we also have determined at this time is that the residence that these officers responded to is the wrong residence,” Alexander said.

“This is an ongoing investigation. A lot [has] yet to be determined here as to what and when shots were fired, how the officer received injuries, [and] how the homeowner receive injuries,” he said. “But we did respond to the wrong residence here tonight and then these other circumstances unfolded.”

The three officers have been placed on administrative leave.

Alexander said he turned the investigation over to the GBI “so that we can make sure that we remain very transparent and open during the course of this investigation.

“Typically, we would [investigate] the shooting ourselves because it’s not fatal, but we have made the decision that, because of the circumstances that involved this shooting, [it] probably would be to the best interest to the community, to ourselves and everyone here that we have an outside investigation done so that there would be no question in regards to what took place,” he said. 

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