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Police Liable for Shooting, Killing Wrong Man?

By Andrew Lu | Last updated on

Florida police recently shot an innocent victim as they knocked on the wrong door looking for an attempted murder suspect.

Andrew Lee Scott was minding his own business when there was a banging on his door. Not expecting any visitors, the 26-year-old pizza deliveryman got his gun and opened up the door.

As the door opened, the police saw someone they believed to be the murder suspect with a gun trained on them. So they opened fire and killed Scott. Only later did police realize that they knocked on the wrong door and had killed the innocent man. The police later arrested the real suspect at a different apartment building, reports the Huffington Post.

When asked about the mixup, the police did not admit to doing anything wrong and even placed part of the blame on Scott. A police lieutenant called it "a bizarre set of circumstances," adding that "the bottom line is, you point a gun at a deputy sheriff or police office, you're going to get shot," reports the Huffington Post.

But is that a good enough reason to explain the police shooting of an innocent victim? If the family of Andrew Lee Scott files a wrongful death lawsuit, the police may have a valid defense that the amount of force they used was reasonable. After all, they believed that a suspected murder suspect had a gun trained on them.

However, the bigger question is just what the police were doing at the wrong address? If the police were careless or just plain sloppy in writing down the address, it will be interesting to see if the police's mistake will lead to liability. This could be an important determination, regardless of how reasonable the police were in shooting the innocent victim.

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