Earlier this week, police in Georgia received a report of gunshots and cries for help.
Officers responded to a house in Stockbridge, where they were greeted by a 63-year-old homeowner, who had a gun, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release. The homeowner didn’t drop his weapon when police asked, the agency said. Eventually, the man was shot in the neck.
The shooting is under investigation, the GBI said Wednesday, but initial information now indicates that Henry County police had responded to the wrong place. “Preliminary review of the 911 call indicates that the officers were at the wrong location,” the news release states.
The 911 call came in late Tuesday night, the GBI’s release states, with the caller reporting “an unknown female yelling for help and gunshots.”
Three officers were sent out, following instructions from an emergency dispatcher, according to the GBI. They arrived at an address, and that’s where they encountered 63-year-old William Powell.
Powell, the homeowner, had a handgun, which he wouldn’t put down when police “gave verbal commands,” according to the release.
“An officer fired his weapon, striking Powell in the neck,” it states. “The police officers were not injured during the incident.”
Powell was taken to a hospital for treatment. Scott Dutton, a spokesman for the agency, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the operator didn’t have a precise address for the reported incident. “Something got lost in communication,” Dutton told the newspaper.
A message left with the GBI was not immediately returned Thursday.
“The sequence of events, who knew what first, is still being sorted out,” Dutton told the Journal-Constitution.
Powell’s mother-in-law told the newspaper that Powell thought there might have been a prowler on his property. “He went to see what the dogs were carrying on about,” 85-year-old Geraldine Huey said. “He [picked] up his gun and when he got to the gate, they shot him.”
Henry County police Capt. Joey Smith told The Washington Post in an email that the officer “directly involved” in the shooting has been put on paid administrative leave, which is standard protocol. Smith said that the last he heard, Powell was in critical condition, but he was unclear on his status late Thursday morning.
“He worked all his life. Went to school,” Huey said of her son-in-law. “Just somebody you’d really like to know. He’s right here for me any time.”