Police in Florida fatally shot an innocent man over the weekend after they mistook him for an attempted murder suspect.
Lake County sheriff’s deputies were searching for a man named Jonathan Brown when they arrived at the Blueberry Hills Apartment complex in Leesburg early Sunday morning.
When the police banged on the wrong door, Andrew Lee Scott — who did not expect visitors — answered armed and ready, only to be fired at by the surprised officers.
“When we knocked on the door, the door opened and the occupant of that apartment was pointing a gun at deputies and that’s when we opened fire and killed him,” said Lt. John Herrell, according to WESH.
Officers admit they never identified themselves to Scott, a 26-year-old pizza deliveryman. Still, Herrell holds the victim at least partially responsible.
Residents said the unannounced knock at the door at 1:30 a.m. may be the reason why the tragedy happened.
“It’s just a bizarre set of circumstances,” he said. “The bottom line is, you point a gun at a deputy sheriff or police office, you’re going to get shot,” Herrell said.
Jonathan Turley, a law professor at George Washington University, responded to the incident in his blog.
“This is technically not a ‘no knock’ search,” Turley wrote. “In such searches, there is no knock but the officers are supposed to announce their identities in going into the property… Indeed, I have criticized the increasing use of ‘no knock’ warrants.”
Police later arrested Brown and another suspect at a second apartment building. The two are currently at the Lake County Jail, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident and police authorities placed the officer who shot Scott on administrative leave.
You’re supposed to yell, “POLICE!” You don’t just run up on people’s doors, beating on them, in the wee fucking hours of the night, unidentified and expect them to stand there scratching their asses in their boxers.
If I had a gun, I’d probably have taken that shit to the door with me too. Shit, I WILL have a gun, they gonna open fire on me, too?
They’ll probably bust a cap in me through the peephole.