U.S. News


Georgia Man With Alzheimer's Killed After Mistaken For Burglar

Around 4 a.m. Wednesday morning, a 72-year-old man was shot after he was mistaken for a burglar. Police say he was lost and suffered from Alzheimer's.
Posted at 4:21 PM, Nov 29, 2013

A Georgia man was shot and killed after being reportedly mistaken for a burglar, but police say he was lost and suffered from Alzheimer's disease.

"Sheriff Wilson says 72-year-old Ronald Westbrook was most likely trying to find his way home when he saw the porch light on at this home on College Crest Court.” (Via WRCB)

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports Westbrook was stopped around 2:30 a.m. and questioned by officers but was left alone after he said he was getting his mail and lived close by.

The Walker County sheriff says by 4 a.m., Westbrook had walked 3 miles from his home with his two dogs. When he got to a house owned by a man named Joe Hendrix, Westbrook reportedly rang the doorbell and tried to get inside. (Via WRAZ)

After hearing someone try to enter the house, Hendrix's fiancee called 911.

"But before they arrived, Hendrix shot and killed Westbrook. Hendrix told deputies he saw Westbrook in silhouette and yelled at him with no response before firing four shots." (Via WRDW)

New York Daily News reports Hendrix is cooperating with authorities and is distraught over the incident. So far, no charges have been filed against him.

The Christian Science Monitor reports prosecutors are reviewing whether Georgia's "stand your ground" law applies to this incident. In Georgia, the self-defense laws allow people to use deadly force if they're threatened.