DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation announced Tuesday that a wounded DeKalb County Police officer was most likely shot by one of his fellow officers.
The wounded officer, who the GBI identifies as Officer Travis Jones, was in serious but stable condition Tuesday afternoon after undergoing surgery at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital.
As is protocol, the GBI is investigating the shooting that injured a DeKalb County Police officer and a homeowner Monday night. DeKalb County Public Safety Director Dr. Cedric Alexander said that Jones and two other officers, identified by the GBI as being Officer Quhanna Lloyd and Officer Timothy Harden, responded to a 911 call reporting a suspicious person lurking in the 1500 block of Boulderwoods Drive. Officers went around the back of the home that matched the description given to dispatchers, yet acknowledged that home was later determined to be the incorrect location.
Alexander said the officers found the screen and back doors unlocked. He said they announced themselves and moments later, shots were being exchanged. Alexander confirmed his officers, though unclear how many, did fire shots.
A spokesperson for the GBI said that when the officers entered the home they shot and killed the homeowner's dog and that's when the homeowner, identified by the GBI as 36-year-old Christopher McKinley, appeared and was shot in the leg. He was taken to Atlanta Medical Center where he was treated and released.
The injured officer was shot in the hip and taken to Grady Memorial Hospital. He underwent surgery and as of late Tuesday morning he was listed in serious, but stable, condition.
"Early investigation indicates that the injured officer was likely shot accidentally by one of the other officers on the scene," said the GBI in a news release.
"The next-door neighbor was laying there. He was shot in the leg. His wife was hysterical," said neighbor Bob Gilman.
Neighbors give a slightly different account of the incident. They said that the officers pulled up to the home, went around back and within 30 seconds, they could hear gunfire
"I was standing there watching as they ran to the back and then I heard 'pow, pow, pow,'" Tama Coleson told FOX 5's Portia Bruner. "I then saw my neighbor come out of the front door yelling 'They shot me! They shot me! And they shot my dog!'"
Neighbors understand the officers were responding to a call from someone concerned about a suspicious person, but they said there is no excuse for what happened Monday night.
"If they were just going on a description of a home, they could have ended up at our house. That could have been us. We were sitting inside our home. That could have been my dog shot or me being shot," said neighbor Jeremy Matthews.
Alexander confirmed the home with the suspected burglary was further down Boulderwoods Drive; officers have not investigated the scene and have turned the separate investigation over to the GBI.
The GBI said Officer Jones has been with the DeKalb County Police Department for just under a year. Officers Lloyd and Harden have been with the department for eight and five years respectively.
The GBI said they will be turning the findings of the investigations over to the district attorney.