Twenty-six Andrew Lee Scott, Lake County Florida, answered the door of his home at 1:30am on Sunday morning. Because of the hour, Scott went to the door armed with his handgun. As he opened the door, not knowing who it was, he had his handgun pointed outside. He was shot dead by Lake County Sheriff deputies. The problem with all of this is that the deputies were at the wrong house.
"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," Lt. John Herrell said. "Even though this subject is not the one we were looking for when he opened the door. He was pointing the gun at the deputy and if you put yourselves in the deputy's shoes. They were there to pick up someone who was wanted for an attempted homicide."
Here's something interesting though, the deputies did not identify themselves to Mr. Scott for (insert drum roll here), safety reasons.
The officers thought they were about to confront a man accused of attempted murder, Johnathan Brown. While Brown's motorcycle was parked across from Scott's front door and he had been seen in the area of the apartment complex that Scott lived in, officers failed to verify that he was actually the person who lived there.
"It's just a bizarre set of circumstances. The bottom line is, you point a gun at a deputy sheriff or police office, you're going to get shot," Herrell said.
I've got something for Lt. Herrell. Bottom line is, if you are going into a house that you suspect an alleged criminal lives, why don't you call it in and make sure the guy lives there. Why don't you guys take 5 minutes to make sure who it is you are dealing with. I would also like to ask Lt. Herrell if he came to the door at 1:30am and no one identified themselves would he have gun in hand and ready to use it, or should he just assume it's officers?
The deputies did arrest Brown and another suspect, Anthony Rodriguez near the same building.
While some neighbors expressed a sentiment that there was fault on both sides, the only fault I can see is on the part of the officers. Andrew Lee Scott is dead, not because he pointed a gun at deputies, but because he sought to protect himself in his own home from people knocking on his door in the dead of night that would not identify themselves.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the shooting. The deputy who fired on Scott and the two who were on the scene with him are now on administrative leave, which means they are free and get paid, while Andrew Scott gets buried.
Learn something from this: You don't have to open the door unless Police Officers identify themselves. Carry your gun to the door ready to use it in case you must. A 'peep' hole would be an excellent idea to have at your door or surveillance cameras to be able to see who is at the door.
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