Criticism Of Georgia Police Who Responded to Wrong Home, Shot Unarmed Man is ‘Just Unfair,’ Officials Say

DeKalb County police officers responded to the wrong home Monday and shot an unarmed man, killed his dog, and wounded one of their own brothers in blue. But according to local officials, criticism of the event is “just unfair.”

A call came in of a potential burglar outside “the farthest house at the end of the street.” Three responding police officers stopped instead at Chris and Leah McKinley’s residence, the second house on the street. When Chris opened the door to see what his dog was barking at, the police opened fire.

“I hear Leah screaming, I see Chris walking out, ‘They just shot me, they just shot me, and they killed my dog,’” said Tama Colson, a neighbor who witnessed the aftermath of the shooting “So I got him to lay down, took my shirt off and rendered first aid. And Chris just kept saying, ‘Why did you shoot me? Why did they shoot my dog?’”

It’s unclear how many shots were fired, but according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the officers entered through a “reportedly unlocked rear door” and fired their weapons after they “encountered a dog.”

During the shooting, Chris was struck in the leg, his dog was killed, and Officer Travis Jones was shot in the hip by friendly fire. Chris’ wife and 1-year-old daughter were also in the room at the time of the shooting but were not injured.

This marks the fourth controversial shooting by the DeKalb County police department in the last four years, and while DeKalb director of public safety Cedric Alexander recognizes the department is by no means “perfect,” he wasn’t exactly apologetic.

“Are we perfect?” said Alexander. “Absolutely not. But when we find a mistake, we own it. We own the fact that we were at the wrong house. We didn’t hide it. We didn’t mismanage it. We were at the wrong location based on information that was given to us.”

Alexander said the public shouldn’t be “speculating or assuming anything at this point,” adding that an investigation needs to be conducted because “there was a police officer who was severely injured and had a great deal of blood lost.”

Alexander extended his prayers to the officer and homeowner. He also defended the DeKalb County police officers because they “have a tough job.”

“In light of everything going on in the country right now, anytime officers have to respond to a call, they’re checking and double checking themselves,” said Alexander. “A lot of the criticisms and mockeries they’ve sustained across the country and even locally is just unfair.”

Police certainly have one of the most difficult jobs in the world, and it’s hard to argue that sometimes they get a bad rap, but most would agree the wrong-house shooting of an unarmed man in front of his wife and 1-year-old daughter and the killing of his dog is more unfair than the “criticism” of the officers involved.

(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • TGtrek June 15, 2018, 8:16 am

    I am a former law enforcement officer ,from a big city department , and I can’t believe what these officers did ! Going to check out a burglary call , and you shoot someone’s dog ??? I have never heard of a burglar that brings his dog with him to commit crimes , which means the dog belongs to the homeowner , and he/she is barking to protect his territory . Then they shoot the home owner ,when he opens the door ??? Did they see a weapon pointed at them , were they in such fear for their lives ,that someone can not even open the front door or back door of their home without getting shot ?? And then they shoot one of their own police officers , what a complete and sad joke of a department ! It appears they need a new training chief and instructors in their police academy , and the Keystone Cops that responded to this call need to get their arse’s sued , and the shooter needs to get a new job ,one that does not require him to have a gun.

  • James March 12, 2018, 12:59 pm

    It isn’t speculation that the cops acted inappropriately. It’s a fact. They go to the wrong house, illegally enter and kill the dog. Then they shoot the resident because he dares to open a door to see what’s happening. As far as the cop who was shot, oh well, ask your “brothers” why they shot you. Just as a criminal takes that chance when he’s out committing crimes, the cop takes the same chance when he’s out committing crimes against innocent citizens as part of the goon squad.

  • Gary January 2, 2018, 10:49 am

    It looks to me like it’s time to replace the whole damn police department in that town! Starting from the very TOP and working their way down!
    I have LEOs in my family, as well as many that are friends. They ALL believe everyone involved should have been arrested on the spot!
    There was NO excuse to kill a man’s dog, much less shoot the UNARMED home owner as well. Let’s just thank God they started shooting each other rather than the poor wife and their baby.
    The jerk that gave the speach should be the first one FIRED! If for no other reason than just being a MORON!!

  • Buck September 8, 2017, 5:01 am

    They knew the dog was not the bad guy and it was private property . They knew they shot their own officer all 3 should be charged with crimes and do time . Buck Christian 100% disabled Vietnam veteran🇺🇸⚔🇺🇸 Right wing republican . Lifetime member NRA and friend to Israel

  • Frank Hammer April 19, 2017, 11:23 am

    Idiotic, out of control, and arrogant police deserve whatever they get. They come to my house, shoot my good dog, and in front of my wife and kid, who are supposedly UN-INJURED?? I will fire back, and I don’t care what that may entail. ANYBODY attacks my home, they get what they got coming until I’m dead, and hopefully a bunch of them too.

  • Don October 15, 2016, 8:27 pm

    This was a bad shoot with poor police work. To add insult to injury, the arrogant attitude like DeKalb PD shows it ts time to overhaul the police department and up the caliber of officers. Sounds like they saw the other officer in the background with his weapon drawn and fired. The dog was shot out of fear and the man caught in the crossfire.

  • Carl August 8, 2016, 3:34 am

    you can say that again. If the dog is barking at you not at whoever is in the house is probably a good time to slow down and do a little thinking. Sometimes I guess it happens, not a problem in ten years and just that day everyone screw up, who knows why he shot the dog its easy to criticize after the fact

    • Gary January 2, 2018, 10:53 am

      I doubt you would still have that opinion if YOU were shot while sitting in your chair watching The Simpsons!

  • Evan July 26, 2016, 1:19 pm

    Why did they feel the need to enter any house without physically talking to the complainant first? Sounds like they need to overhaul their SOP manual before they start with the excuses.

  • MrMsMrs May 14, 2016, 7:21 pm

    … the public shouldn’t be “speculating or assuming anything at this point,” adding that an investigation needs to be conducted because “there was a police officer who was severely injured and had a great deal of blood lost.”
    WHAT?? he was apparently shot by one or more of his fellow cowards! So called ‘friendly fire’ – seriously not very friendly. And, what does that pathetic fact have to do with anything? It is certainly no excuse or defense to the appalling demonstration of incompetence by the officers involved.

  • Dennis siegler September 17, 2015, 10:49 pm

    If the job is too difficult for you to approach the public as innocent until proven guilty, and you find the need to shoot first and ask questions later, then your in the wrong profession!

  • MSG John Laigaie September 7, 2015, 10:01 am

    Life is hard. It’s harder when you are stupid. If you are a LEO and you are stupid, as in this incident, someone gets dead. Now I believe shooting my dog, shooting me, shooting one of your own, in the wrong house, is just stupid. Don’t hand me the BS about your job being hard, tell me why you are acting stupid.

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