Homeowner Shoots Officers Who Had Wrong Address

On 19 September 2018, in Maryland, police were executing a search warrant related to the drug trade. There were nine of them. They had the wrong address. Maryland has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The resident had a shotgun and heard the police breaking in his house. The raid erupted into a gunfight, and two police officers were injured enough to require hospitalization. From foxnews.com:

The shooting took place Wednesday night as a unit of nine officers served a search warrant at an apartment complex about 20 miles south of the nation’s capital. After knocking on the door and getting no response, officers used a device to open it.

The resident, who had fallen asleep and didn’t hear police announce themselves, fired a shotgun as soon as officers opened the door, striking one in the shoulder and the other in a hand, officials said. One officer returned fire, but didn’t hit anyone.

The man immediately surrendered once he realized they were police officers, officials said.

“You got the wrong address. Don’t shoot my daughter,” the father said, according to Stawinski.

The chief apologized for the blunder and said there will not be any criminal charges filed against the resident, Washington news station WTOP-FM reported.

This is the latest in a series of cases where it has been acknowledged that homeowners have a right to defend their home, even against police, if a warrant is served improperly.

In 2007, in a SWAT raid of the wrong address, Vang Khang shot at police officers as they broke into his family’s home. The police eventually settled the case for over $600,000. No one was hit.

Adrian Perryman was found not guilty of shooting at police in another failed SWAT raid that occurred in 2010.

Brandon Watson was found not guilty after shooting out a window when police officers lit him up with laser sights in January, 2013.

Hank McGee was not indicted for the fatal shooting of a deputy in a no-knock raid in late 2013.

Dallas Horton was not even arrested for shooting the Police Chief in Sentinel, Oklahoma, in 2015.

On August 30 of 2015, Darrel Burt shot a police officer. On September 2nd, 2016, he was found not guilty, by reason of self-defense. He was wounded in the elbow during the incident. He had been drinking and is a veteran.

Fortunately, these cases are rare. They will become even less frequent as the digital recording revolution reaches saturation. That will be when nearly all events outside of private homes are recorded all the time.

Police and other people are more likely to follow the law when they know their actions are recorded.

One of the major purposes of warrants is to ensure that the person being served knows that the search is being conducted in accordance with due process, and has been authorized by a judge. This is to ensure it is not a freewheeling exercise of police power or freelance criminals masquerading as police to enhance their chance of success with robbery, assault, rape, and murder.

source: ammoland.com

  • CrustyOldGeezer

    When rthe nice police investigator applies for the warrant, he AFFIRMS the address AND ALL OTHER PERTINENT INFORMATION IS CORRECT.

    So, when ARMED OFFICERS knock down doors and COMMIT AN ILLEGAL HOME INVASION UNDER COLOR OF LAW, WHY isn’t the person that lied to a judge, fired, arrested. tried, convicted, and thrown in prison for a minimum 10 years WITHOUT PAROLE?

    • William Gordon

      First-the officers had the wrong address–second-the man was sleeping when they broke in- third–the man was defending his home…The officers in this case were very wrong. The officers should have idenifed themslves even with a warrant. (Crusty Old Man) The law says a person has a right to defend his property’ No Excuse–

      • CrustyOldGeezer

        That’s nice, now…

        WHY NOT ACTUALLY READ WHAT I WROTE?

    • Daniel from TN

      1. We don’t know that the officer who obtained the warrant lied to the judge. The correct address could be on the warrant, but police go to a different address by mistake.
      2. Action by the officers involved in the raid will be investigated. This investigation will recommend whether or not any officer(s) should be prosecuted. The investigation will center on the person in charge of the raid, who is probably who lead the others to the wrong address.
      3. After the investigation, the district attorney’s office will determine who, if anyone, should be prosecuted. As a general rule of thumb, district attorneys will not prosecute police officers because it is necessary to maintain a good working relationship between the district attorney’s office and the police. Because of this, police officers are usually not prosecuted unless the charge is murder or manslaughter. It’s not fair, but it’s just the way it is.
      4. Finally, what sentencing anyone convicted in this case receives will be determined by state law, the plea bargaining ability of the defendant’s attorney, and how close it is to election time..

      I hope this answers your question.

      • CrustyOldGeezer

        My comment was not about ‘the way the coverups are conducted’, but what SHOULD HAPPEN.

    • White Trailer Trash

      Cops need to check and recheck to verify the address before executing the warrant as onsite verification…. by several officers…..
      cops in helicopters have GPS and it shows the actual address by number and street name on the screen as they move around……
      Im sure Cops can apply this same technology to raids and warrants…
      couple of decades back where I lived.. cops executed warrants by yelling out search warrant and bashing in the door….
      A homeowner sued for damages and won… his claim they didnt give enough time for him to open the door…..
      the county then changed the law where the cops have to give the person time (10 seconds) to respond….
      before bashing in the door…
      your right if its not a correct address on the warrant someone should be held accountable.. criminally or even a suspension of 6 month to a year without pay….
      maybe even a demotion in rank..
      make the individual(s) pay for damages out of their own pocket….
      the next one will be right…
      if an officer is killed in a bad warrant make the one submitting for the warrant held on involuntary Manslaughter charges….

  • greg

    All, I can say is WOW.

  • Medic RN

    Huge. I wondered about this. More commonly, the police will be prepared to boldly return fire. Dead is poor rational for rights as regards errors.

    • MajorPain

      Kathryn Johnston
      Kathryn Johnston.jpg
      Johnston circa 2000–2006
      Born June 26, 1914
      Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
      Died November 21, 2006 (aged 92)
      Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
      Kathryn Johnston (June 26, 1914 – November 21, 2006)[1] was an elderly Atlanta, Georgia, woman who was shot by undercover police officers in her home on Neal Street in northwest Atlanta on November 21, 2006, where she had lived for 17 years. Three officers had entered her home in what was later described as a ‘botched’ drug raid.[2][3][4] Officers cut off burglar bars and broke down her door using a no-knock warrant.[5] Police said Johnston fired at them and they fired in response; she fired one shot out the door over the officers’ heads and they fired 39 shots, five or six of which hit her.[3][6] None of the officers were injured by her gunfire, but Johnston was killed by the officers. Police injuries were later attributed to “friendly fire” from each other’s weapons.[2][3][6]

      • mousekiller

        Sh+t happens and not always to the bad guy. No matter how much training they get they are still people and subject to making mistakes.We are human, not computers or AI.

        • White Trailer Trash

          right but as Humans and where lethal force might be used you would think they would check and verify several times to make sure the place they are serving a warrant is correct….

          I am all for Law Enforcement and served in it, but as you stated Humans make mistakes and at times those mistakes take innocent lives…..

          you can’t bring back or correct a lethal mistake…

      • Medic RN

        Tough job…but it seems they should get the address right?
        As much as I dreadfully moarn the loss of these spectacular people, I celebrate their right and armed ability to return fire. Full on demonstration of the second amendment….to give tyrants pause….and they did.

  • JOSEPH G MATTERA

    ITS THE GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORAL
    RAIDS ARE WAY TOO DANGEROUS
    WHAT HAPPENED TO STAKE OUT
    CATCH WHEN GETTING GROCERIES CIGARETTES WHATEVER
    SOME COPS JUST TOO DAM INTO DRAMA AND SHOWBOATING

    • CrustyOldGeezer

      SHOWBOATING COPS and DISTRICT ATTORNEYS!

      What an accurate terminology choice!

  • mousekiller

    There is always a handful of cops on a raid. Did not one of them know they were at the wrong address or are they not allowed to talk to their squad leader?So many involved and it was still wrong house.

  • hcool

    No knock raids on the wrong address should be prosecuted. Law enforcement should not get away with murder or injury to innocent people.

  • Alan404

    The police involved in this criminal fiasco aught to, for openers, be billed for repairs to the homeowners place of residence. After that, the possibility of criminal action against offending Officialdom, aka Officialdumb merits serious examination, though in my personal view, nothing short of criminal prosecution of the offending parties, supposed law enforcement personnel, is acceptable. Unfortunately it seems that the execution of criminal prosecution and penalties is about the only thing that might impress the forces of Law and Order, so called.

  • Wayne Cowan

    My comment was not about ‘the way the coverups are conducted’, but what SHOULD HAPPEN.

  • isaiah

    Cops need to check and recheck to verify the address before executing the warrant as onsite verification…. by several officers…..cops in helicopters have GPS and it shows the actual address by number and street name on the screen as they move around…… Im sure Cops can apply this same technology to raids and warrants

  • Luis

    All, I can say is WOW.

  • marcus J

    What they call a ( No Knock Raid ) is blatantly Unconstitutional and is illegal , In essence a sworn Law Enforcement Officer that commits a Home Invasion is subject to the same outcome and or Penalty that a Criminal is subject to when the King of His or Her Castle defends themselves against the Invader or Invaders