National Police Misconduct Reporting Project

After Knocking on the Wrong Door, Police Shoot Homeowner

From WESH.com:

Lake County Sheriff’s Office deputies shot and killed a man they assumed was an attempted murder suspect on Sunday, but they now know they shot the wrong man.

 In the early morning hours, deputies knocked on 26-year-old Andrew Lee Scott’s door without identifying themselves as law enforcement officers. Scott answered the door with a gun in his hand.

“When we knocked on the door, the door opened and the occupant of that apartment was pointing a gun at deputies and that’s when we opened fire and killed him,” Lt. John Herrell said.

Deputies thought they were confronting Jonathan Brown, a man accused of attempted murder. Brown was spotted at the Blueberry Hills Apartment complex and his motorcycle was parked across from Andrew Scott’s front door.

“It’s just a bizarre set of circumstances. The bottom line is, you point a gun at a deputy sheriff or police office, you’re going to get shot,” Herrell said.

Residents said the unannounced knock at the door at 1:30 a.m. may be the reason why the tragedy happened.

“He was the wrong guy and he got shot and killed anyway. There’s fault on both sides. I think more so on the county,” Ryan Perry said. “I can understand why he [the deputy] did it, but it should have never gone down like that,” Perry said.

Brown was arrested near the same building where Scott was shot. Brown and another suspect in the same case, Anthony Rodriguez, were booked into the Lake County Jail over the weekend.

I am sure the police involved regret what happened.  They did not set out to shoot an innocent person–they were looking for a dangerous guy.  But their actions were nonetheless reckless.  By knocking, unannounced, on a door at 1:30 am, what’s a innocent homeowner to think?  This is just terrible.

 

 

 

Creative Commons License
This work by Cato Institute is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.