Georgia police went to wrong home, shot dog and homeowner, officials say

"We did respond to the wrong residence here, tonight. And then these other circumstances here unfolded," Dekalb County Public Safety Director Dr. Cedric Alexander said.
By Doug G. Ware   |   Sept. 1, 2015 at 4:27 PM

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the actions of two police officers who responded to the wrong home after a 911 call, where they shot a dog and the unsuspecting homeowner inside -- not to mention one of themselves, officials said Tuesday.

The officers were responding to the call in Dekalb County on Monday evening that indicated a possible burglary in progress at the home, the GBI said in a news release.

About 7:30 p.m., three officers arrived at a home that matched a physical description given by a dispatcher. However, they did not receive any response at the front door, investigators said.

The officers went around to the back of the home, where they said they entered through an unlocked rear door that led into the kitchen.

"Something happened back there, where there was gunfire," Dr. Cedric Alexander, Dekalb County's public safety director, said.

Once inside, authorities say, the officers were apparently confronted by a dog -- which they shot.

Moments later, the homeowner emerged from a room nearby -- and he was shot.

One of the officers himself was also shot, it appears, from another officer's gunfire, investigators said.

Alexander said he made the decision to turn the case over to the GBI.

The bureau said in its news release Tuesday that the officers entered the wrong home, and that neither the residence nor the homeowner were in any way related to the 911 call. Further, the bureau said no criminal activity is suspected by the homeowner.

Officials said the dog died at the scene, shot by two officers. The homeowner was hospitalized with a gunshot wound in the leg. The wounded officer was struck in the hip, and was hospitalized with critical injuries and massive blood loss, Alexander said.

The homeowner in Monday's shooting was released from the hospital on crutches but did not speak with news media, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

It wasn't immediately clear why the officers entered the wrong home, although its physical description was said to be similar to the one given by dispatchers.

"The residence that these officers responded to was the wrong residence that was in question," Alexander said. "Then these other circumstances unfolded."

Once the investigation is complete, the results will be turned over to the district attorney's office for possible charges.

Just nine months ago, Dekalb police were involved in a similar matter. A homeowner and his dog were both shot -- and killed -- by an officer responding to a 911 call.

In that incident, investigators said, the homeowner had called 911 to report a roommate stabbed his girlfriend. When officers arrived, they were confronted by the man's dog -- which they shot -- and then the homeowner, who responding officers claimed refused to drop a gun he was holding.

Family and supporters of the homeowner killed in that case said no evidence at the scene indicated the officers were ever threatened with a gun.

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