Cops Fatally Shoot Homeowner After Mistaking Him for Intruder

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Aurora police officers mistakenly shot and killed a homeowner while responding to a 911 call about an intruder. The intruder was strangling a young boy.

Another innocent man was shot and killed by police in his own home after officers responded to a 911 call at approximately 1:30 a.m. on July 30.

Aurora police officers entered the home upon hearing a gunshot and found the deceased intruder laying on the bathroom floor. Officers also found an injured 11-year-old and the resident of the home holding a firearm.

The retired grandfather and resident had just shot and killed the intruder. In another case of shoot first and ask questions later, police said that they assumed the grandfather was the intruder and shot him.

The homeowner and juvenile were both taken to the hospital where the homeowner died. The juvenile endured serious injuries but is expected to survive. The 11-year-old boy was reportedly being strangled by a naked intruder who was then shot by the boy's grandfather. 

The police officer involved in the shooting was reassigned with pay while the incident is being investigated. The officer in question, the intruder, and the victim have not yet been identified. The homeowner was identified as Vietnam War veteran Richard "Gary" Black Jr.

Black's wife told police specifically what her husband was wearing.

Surely the wrongful death of a purple heart recipient and a former federal agent is worth devising a law enforcement policy requiring officers to learn how to de-escalate conflicts instead of immediately shooting. 

Aurora Police Department Chief Nick Metz released a statement about the shooting.

"This is a very heartbreaking and tragic situation for everyone involved," he said the statement, noting that the Aurora Police Major Crimes Unit and the Denver Police Department are conducting a joint investigation of the tragedy.

The Aurora Police Department is requesting that any witnesses to the shooting contact Det. Randy Hansen. A press conference will be held later this week once officers have given their statements.

Despite conducting an investigation, the lack of remorse present in the police department's statement demonstrates that the department may not be in a hurry to make any real lasting change in police procedures. 

Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Erik De Castro

 

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