DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — It started with police going to the wrong house. It ended with a homeowner, an officer and a dog shot. DeKalb County police were responding to a 911 call about a suspicious person Monday evening, the Atlanta-area police department said.
But the caller didn’t give an address for the house where the suspicious person was seen, county public safety director Cedric Alexander said. Instead, the caller described it as a gray and brick home.
So three officers went to a house that matched that description near the same intersection, Alexander said. He said they went to the back of a home where they thought a burglary might be occurring. This was just before 8 p.m.
“Once there at the rear of the residence, they noticed that the screen door was unlocked, and the back door was unlocked,” he said.
Alexander said the officers did identify themselves.
“Shortly after that, within a matter of moments, gunfire took place,” he said. “During this gunfire, a dog was shot and killed inside a residence.”
The homeowner and a DeKalb police officer were both shot in the leg.
“The officer is critical. He lost a lot of blood,” Alexander said. “The homeowner, who was struck in the leg, is also at the hospital as well.”
The police chief said details about how the shooting broke out are under investigation. He said he could not confirm whether one or multiple officers fired shots.
“A lot has yet to be determined here as to what and when shots were fired — how the officer received injuries, how the homeowner received injuries,” Alexander said.
“But we did respond to the wrong resident here tonight. And then these other circumstances unfolded.”
The police chief said he decided to turn the case over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to ensure an independent probe.
He said all three of the officers who were at the scene will be placed on administrative leave.
The incident occurred in an in-transition neighborhood about 3 miles south of the bars, restaurants and boutique shops of East Atlanta Village. The area is largely populated with apartment complexes, townhomes and one- and two-story single-family residences.
Residents have long complained of steady crime in the area, and they’re accustomed to seeing police, whether they’re out patrolling or responding to criminal activity.