William David Powell of Stockbridge, AL has died after being shot in the neck by police who responded to a report of a domestic disturbance — at the wrong address.
Police arrived at Powell’s home at nearly midnight on Wednesday, June 8, after receiving a call from dispatchers about possible gunshots and a woman in distress.
Powell, who was alarmed by the sudden appearance of lights flashing through his windows and a cavalcade of cars outside his home, emerged from his garage holding a firearm.
Police then shot him, mistakenly believing him to be the perpetrator and a threat to their own safety.
Powell was pronounced dead at 4 p.m. Thursday at Atlanta Medical Center as a result of the wounds from the police bullets.
A neighbor told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution police didn’t properly identify themselves. If they had, he said, Powell may still be alive.
“I think the police should identify themselves more if they show up at someone’s house in the middle of the night, instead of just shining lights in their windows,” said Darrell Cooper, who has known Powell for at least 30 years, to the AJC. “He’s a fine man.”
911 operators received a call from a nearby house, but could not ascertain an exact address after calling back the distressed caller. As it turns out, no shots had been fired.
The “wrong address” slaying of Powell was the second similar incident in less than a year. In August of 2015, a DeKalb County officer shot a fellow officer and a homeowner after police responded to the incorrect location of a reported burglary call.