Police mistakenly shot a man who called 911 last month to report he had spotted a Washington fugitive wanted in the shooting of a neighbor.
The man, who asked that his identity not be publicly released, called Oct. 31 to report he had seen 59-year-old John Kendall, who was the subject of a manhunt after shooting a woman in the face as part of an ongoing property feud.
Abigail Mounce, 33, is expected to lose her right eye after her neighbor fired into a vehicle with what appeared to be an AK-47 rifle.
SWAT officers who arrived at the scene spotted a man matching Kendall’s description and opened fire – unaware that he was the 911 caller.
"Law enforcement personnel watched as the citizen (believed to be Kendall) exited his vehicle and circled behind his trunk," police said. "Fearing that he armed himself, law enforcement fired multiple shots at the individual in order to stop the perceived threat before the citizen could enter the woods."
The man was shot in the leg and took cover behind a gravel pile, where he fired a gunshot in return.
His gunshot hit no one, police said.
The man then called 911 again to report he had been shot.
Police made contact with the man and treated his wound until he could be taken to a hospital for treatment.
The police who shot at the man – identified Tuesday as Cpl. Chris LeBlanc, 47, Officer Brian Frances, 38, of Vancouver police, and Clark County Deputy Anthony Spainhower, 39 – have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Authorities are still trying to determine how many shots they fired and whose bullet hit the 911 caller.
Investigators found Kendall’s body nearby a short time later, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Police said there was no apparent connection between Kendall and the man who called 911.
Watch this video report posted online by The Oregonian: