When citizens call authorities to make a report, the last thing they expect is to suffer an injury from those same police. Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened to a Washington man. He called 911 last month to report seeing a fugitive and got a bullet wound courtesy of the Vancouver SWAT team.
The man, who doesn’t want to be identified, called 911 after spotting 59-year-old fugitive John Kendall. Kendall was wanted for shooting 33-year-old Abigail Mounce in the face with an AK-47 over an ongoing property dispute. His victim is expected to lose her right eye thanks to the gun nut.
When the SWAT team arrived on scene they saw a man who fit Kendall’s description exit his truck and walk around back. Instead of making sure the man was the fugitive they were looking for, officers opened fire wounding the good samaritan in the leg.
After being shot, the man returned fire in the direction of the police, but missed the officers. He then called 911 again to report he’d been shot.
Officers eventually made contact with the wounded man and rendered first aid until paramedics arrived.
The Vancouver officers involved in the shooting, Cpl. Chris LeBlanc and Brian Frances, as well as Clark County deputy Anthony Spainhower have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The real fugitive was found dead nearby from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
It’s a story that is much too common these days. All of this could have been avoided had police asked questions before firing on a perfectly innocent man.
It seems a week doesn’t go by that we are not bombarded with stories of “accidental” police shootings or police brutality. As a nation it’s a problem that needs to be addressed with much more extensive police training.
Officers are trained to “neutralize the threat.” That’s fine, if there is an actual threat. However, it’s very obvious that our police don’t know the difference between a real threat and an imaginary one.
This story could’ve been much worse. The Good Samaritan is lucky to be alive. It’s very, very rare that officers shoot someone in the leg. He should thank his lucky stars.
Featured image: Political Outcast.