A DeKalb County police officer was shot and critically wounded after he responded to a suspicious person call at the wrong address on Monday. The homeowner was shot in the leg and the individual’s dog was killed during the incident in the Atlanta area.
Georgia police officers involved in the DeKalb County shooting fired their weapons, but it is not yet known if the homeowner also had, or fired, a weapon, MSN reports.
DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander state that although his department would typically investigate such a shooting because it did not involve a fatality, he noted that due to the unusual nature of the situation, he has asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to take charge of the case.
“We did respond to the wrong residence tonight and then these other circumstances unfolded,” Chief Alexander added.
According to Chief Alexander, a resident called 911 around 7:30 p.m. to report a suspicious person in the neighborhood. The called described the individual to the police dispatcher. Three police officers responded to a home which reportedly fit the description of the residence the neighbor described to the dispatcher. The officers walked to the back of the home and discovered that both a screen and rear door to the house was unlocked.
Apparently, it is unusual for residents, at least in that area of DeKalb County, to leave their doors unlocked.
“That [unlocked doors] 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,” Chief Alexander said. “Somewhere at the rear of that home, some things happened that have yet to be determined.”
Gunfire reportedly erupted shortly after the police officers entered the home, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
“There was gunfire, I just cannot tell you who fired and who did not,” the police chief added.
The DeKalb County police officer who was shot in the leg reportedly lost a significant amount of blood and was was rushed to an area hospital for surgery. The homeowner was also transported to the hospital for treatment. The homeowner’s girlfriend, who was also inside the home, called 911 after the shooting started.
Derek Perez told the media that he had called to report he suspicious person after seeing a man waling his dog knock on a neighbor’s door and then just stand outside in the yard. He said he then heard a loud noise followed by barking, before losing sight of the man. Perez said that because several break-ins had occurred in the neighborhood recently, so he felt he should call and report the suspicious person. Perez said that before going into his home he did hear gunshots, but they were not coming from the location he had described to the 911 dispatcher.
All three DeKalb County police officers involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave.
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