Police at Wrong Front Door Fatally Shoot Homeowner

Confused exchange of gunfire follows, with woman shooting at officers
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2023 3:30 PM CDT
Police at Wrong Front Door Fatally Shoot Homeowner
In this image taken from body camera video provided by the Farmington Police Department, a police officer knocks on the door of the wrong address in response to a domestic violence call, in Farmington, NM, late April 5, 2023.   (Farmington Police Department via AP)

Police in New Mexico responding to a domestic disturbance call went to the wrong address late Wednesday night, leading to a chaotic shootout in which the homeowner was killed. Farmington's police chief said that after no one answered the door, officers had dispatchers call whoever made the report and ask them to come out, per the Insider. When Robert Dotson opened the screen door while holding a handgun, police opened fire. State police said Dotson's wife began shooting but stopped when she realized she was firing at police. The call concerned the home at 5308 Valley View Ave., but officers had gone to 5305.

Farmington Chief Steve Hebbe apologized to the family, saying he was heartbroken. "There's nothing I can say that will make this better," Hebbe said. Dotson, 52, was pronounced dead at his home. His wife was not injured or charged with any crime. The three officers involved in the shooting have been put on administrative leave, per the New York Times, until state police finish an investigation. Hours later, police returned to check out the initial call about a domestic disturbance. There, a department spokeswoman said, "everyone was OK." (More police shooting stories.)

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