Veteran Fatally Shot After Police Go to Wrong House
Someone had called 911 about gunshots in the area
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 10, 2016 4:32 PM CDT

(Newser) – A Georgia homeowner and Air Force veteran shot in the neck after police went to the wrong house has died, a lawyer for the family said Friday. William Powell, 63, died Thursday afternoon at Atlanta Medical Center, attorney Keith Martin said. Someone had called 911 a little before midnight Tuesday to report hearing a woman yelling for help and gunshots, prompting the police to respond, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has said. A preliminary review of the 911 call indicates the three officers who responded had gone to the wrong home and showed up at Powell's house, the GBI said. Powell was armed with a gun and was shot in the neck by one of the officers, authorities said. He had grabbed the gun for protection, not knowing who might be outside in the dark of night, Martin said. A nearby home had been burglarized just two weeks before the shooting, he added.

The GBI is investigating the actions of Henry County police in the shooting early Wednesday morning in Stockbridge, about 20 miles south of Atlanta, the AP reports. The officers "gave verbal commands for Powell to drop his handgun which he did not comply with," GBI agent Scott Dutton said in a statement. But his wife, who was standing outside in the garage area, near her husband, never heard the officers say a word, Martin said. "First thing she heard was two shots, her husband fell, she ran back into the house, locked the door and called 911," he said. "She saw her husband fall, and was terrified." Powell had just left the house, opened the garage door and walked just outside the garage when he was shot, Martin said. The officer who shot Powell is on paid leave, the standard protocol in such cases, Henry County police Capt. Joey Smith said.