*Yes, this might be a good time to revisit your when-to-shoot training protocol officers. You have messed up AGAIN! This time, you went to the wrong house on a 911 robbery call; shot and killed the family dog, wounded the homeowner AND your fellow…seriously, I might add.
Tsk. Tsk. Tsk.
And what have you got to say for yourself?
Are we perfect? Absolutely not. But when we find that we made a mistake, we own it. We own the fact that we were at the wrong house,” he said. “We didn’t hide it. We didn’t mismanage it. We were at the wrong location based on information that was given to us.”
Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May said it was appropriate for the GBI to review the incident.
But how could things have gone so horribly wrong in the first place?
When Dekalb County officers responded to a 911 call around 7:30 p.m. about a suspicious person hanging around a gray house on the 1500 block of Boulderwoods Drive (an Atlanta suburb), they say an exact address wasn’t given to them and they ended up going into the wrong house.
A house that looked like what the caller described.
“Responding officers likely entered a residence unrelated to the initial 911 call although it matched the given dispatched description,” GBI spokesman Scott Dutton said. And according to a preliminary investigation, there was no reason to even suspect any criminal activity was going on in the home that was invaded.
“Officers approached the residence and attempted to contact occupants at the residence,” he said. “No contact was made.”
When officers went to the rear of the house, there was an unlocked screen and unlocked door and they assumed the intruder was inside, according to police. Officers entered the home through the unlocked door that led to the kitchen and announced their presence.
“Upon entry to the residence, the officers encountered a dog,” Dutton said in an email. “Two officers fired their weapons, striking and killing the animal in the kitchen.”
Tama Colson, who lives closeby to Chris and Leah McKinley, the homeowner-victims, said she was taking a walk Monday night when she saw DeKalb County police cars in front of the house as she turned the corner.
Then she heard the gunshots.
“I hear Leah screaming, I see Chris walking out, ‘They just shot me, they just shot me, and they killed my dog,’” Colson said. “So I got him to lay down, took my shirt off and rendered first aid. And Chris just kept saying, ‘Why did they shoot me? Why did they shoot my dog?”
The McKinleys had been inside watching a movie when they heard voices in the backyard and Chris went to investigate, Colson said.
“He says, ‘I opened the door to see what the dogs were barking at, and I see black uniforms and I hear pop-pop-pop-pop,’” Colson said.
Dutton confirmed it was McKinley who had been shot in the leg by officers when he came into the kitchen. He was taken to Atlanta Medical Center, treated and released. McKinley was seen on crutches Tuesday morning; but declined to speak to media.
One of the officers was shot in the hip during the incident, and was in serious, but stable, condition Tuesday morning after undergoing surgery at Grady Memorial Hospital.
“Early investigation indicates that the injured officer was likely shot accidentally by one of the other officers on the scene,” Dutton said.
Watch the WSB-TV news report directly below: