Police Shot, Wounded at Wrong Address, No Charges for Home Defender in Maryland

Police Shot, Wounded at Wrong Address, No Charges for Home Defender in Maryland
Police Shot, Wounded at Wrong Address, No Charges for Home Defender in Maryland

Arizona -(Ammoland.com)- On 19 September 2018, in Maryland, police were executing a search warrant related to the drug trade. There were nine of them. They had the wrong address. Maryland has some of the most restrictive gun laws in the nation. The resident had a shotgun and heard the police breaking in his house. The raid erupted into a gunfight, and two police officers were injured enough to require hospitalization. From foxnews.com:

The shooting took place Wednesday night as a unit of nine officers served a search warrant at an apartment complex about 20 miles south of the nation's capital. After knocking on the door and getting no response, officers used a device to open it.

The resident, who had fallen asleep and didn’t hear police announce themselves, fired a shotgun as soon as officers opened the door, striking one in the shoulder and the other in a hand, officials said. One officer returned fire, but didn’t hit anyone.

The man immediately surrendered once he realized they were police officers, officials said.

“You got the wrong address. Don’t shoot my daughter,” the father said, according to Stawinski.

The chief apologized for the blunder and said there will not be any criminal charges filed against the resident, Washington news station WTOP-FM reported.

This is the latest in a series of cases where it has been acknowledged that homeowners have a right to defend their home, even against police, if a warrant is served improperly.

In 2007, in a SWAT raid of the wrong address, Vang Khang shot at police officers as they broke into his family's home.  The police eventually settled the case for over $600,000.  No one was hit.

Adrian Perryman was found not guilty of shooting at police in another failed SWAT raid that occurred in 2010.

Brandon Watson was found not guilty after shooting out a window when police officers lit him up with laser sights in January, 2013.

Hank McGee was not indicted for the fatal shooting of a deputy in a no-knock raid in late 2013.

Dallas Horton was not even arrested for shooting the Police Chief in Sentinel, Oklahoma, in 2015.

On August 30 of 2015, Darrel Burt shot a police officer.  On September 2nd, 2016, he was found not guilty, by reason of self-defense.  He was wounded in the elbow during the incident. He had been drinking and is a veteran.

Fortunately, these cases are rare.  They will become even less frequent as the digital recording revolution reaches saturation. That will be when nearly all events outside of private homes are recorded all the time.

Police and other people are more likely to follow the law when they know their actions are recorded.

One of the major purposes of warrants is to ensure that the person being served knows that the search is being conducted in accordance with due process, and has been authorized by a judge.  This is to ensure it is not a freewheeling exercise of police power or freelance criminals masquerading as police to enhance their chance of success with robbery, assault, rape, and murder.


About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.

  • 17 thoughts on “Police Shot, Wounded at Wrong Address, No Charges for Home Defender in Maryland

    1. The cops have the responsibility to know and confirm the correct address. They’re the ones breaking down doors (like NAZIs) in the middle of the night. How many times have you read an article about someone getting killed by the police when the storm troopers broke into the wrong home and the inhabitant, awakened from a deep sleep and confused, made the “wrong” move? I think no-knock raids should be banned and SWAT teams too.

    2. “No knock search warrants”=Jackbooted thugs.
      There is no good justification for breaking down someone’s door, especially in the middle of the night, just to serve a search warrant. We served search warrants during the daytime, by knocking on the door, until the mid-1970s drug craziness. Criminals were just as violent and well armed, if not better armed, back then. In most cases, the material being sought cannot be disposed of quickly enough (ie, while cops are still at the door) to justify it, and violent resistance by innocent residents is a perfectly reasonable response to a “dynamic entry.” No one in their right mind thinks it’s reasonable to put lives at risk just to catch someone with a few ounces of dope (much more and it couldn’t be flushed away fast enough).

    3. What a horrible story.

      Although he isn’t charged, He was arrested.

      Taken into custody. He suffered hours of interrogation at the hands of angry officers who’s public relations officer has no qualms repeatedly stating that the safety of the officers is the first priority.

      His home was probably trashed.

      He firearms WERE confiscated (no mention if they were returned or ever will be.) He is probably now on the background check list as a prohibited person.

      I guess not getting killed, or having your child killed with impunity is as good as it gets.

    4. Think about it. Not jack booted thugs, just another human being with a job to do, and most likely not their mistake, since their superiors got the address wrong and sent them in to make an arrest.

    5. People make mistakes; it’s part of human nature. Thank goodness no charges were filed for simply protecting oneself , no one was killed, and the police owned up to their mistake and this didn’t turn into a tragedy because of a mistake.

    6. In some cases a policeman getting shot in one of these raids is purely the fault of using gistopal technics. If someone breaks my door down in the middle of the night I am going to react. I know I have done nothing to be arrested for so I have to assume the intrusion is illegal action so I am going to shoot till the barrel melts down.

      1. Andy, it’s best that no one was killed. Unfortunately in some incidents innocent persons have been injured or killed. The police accidentally/negligently getting the wrong address also do not deserve to be injured or killed. I do hope that the police make more of an effort to find and get to the correct address to mitigate these types of incidents.

        1. Don’t like jackbooted thugs or anyone else knocking down my door and THEN announcing who they are. How about you? How would you react to someone knocking down your door in the middle of the night? Don’t think it can’t happen to YOU.

          1. I’ve got your back, Charles. SWAT has metastasized in the last few years. No knock raids for minor offenses in the middle of the night. Up drastically. Too many stories of wrong address raids. Too many stories of innocent civilians killed by jacked-up, roid-raging cops in full military gear shooting and flash banging first and assessing later. Too many stories of innocent civilians injured and charged with serious crimes for daring to resist the stormtroopers barging into their homes in the dead of night. That’s not America. That’s not Constitutional, either, but we live in an age where the Bill of Rights has all but vanished. You’re presumed guilty, snitches are considered reliable, and cops are given immunity and paid vacations while civilians bury their dead and talk to their lawyers. Yep, I’m anti-cop, too.

            I would answer the raid with either my AK or Saiga12 shotgun. Cops could die. Too bad. I could die. Too bad, too, but I’ll take that risk to defend my family. Dying from incompetence is not my problem. I’ve got good lawyers.

            1. Dr., there is such a thing as a “no knock” warrant. In my state several years ago the police made a deadly mistake and the home owner was killed. If assaulting a home at more reasonable hours is unsafe or inconvenient for the police, why not wait until after the people have left the house?

              In my neighborhood a number of years ago I had two SWAT members walk through my driveway at about 3 pm to bust in the backdoor of a nearby home. The man arrested was a suspect in several armed robberies. If daylight assaults are so dangerous, why didn’t they do that raid at night?

        2. Has nothing to do with hating cops, it’s the gestapo tactics they love to employ.

          If cops want to serve a warrant, why not walk up to the door in daylight hours, knock on the door and wait for an answer? Sending a SWAT team in the middle of the night is bullshit and not conducive to civil responses. Period. Anyone coming to my door in the dark is going to be greeted with a gun– call first.

          All which proves the point: Give a cop a balaclava and they become Gestapo– it’s in their DNA.

          1. When would you approach a home trying to catch the people who live there? 12 noon? Good luck. People are most often out of the home during the day.

            I guess you also think the daylight hours provide some sort of bullet-proof safety net around the officers. Sure, just walk up to the front door as the perp inside empties his weapon into your body through it.

            Ring, ring, ring… “Oh hi. This is the dispatch for your local police department. I’d like to give you five minutes to arm and baracade yourselves. The police are outside. Have a nice day…”

            Have you ever in your life tried to put yourself in the position of those officers?

            Obviously not.

            As long as there are humans, there will be mistakes.

            I’m sorry this was carried out at the wrong address. I am sorry the officers were injured. I am sorry the family was disturbed like this.

            As long as criminals force the police departments to react to their wanton treachery, this sort of thing will happen.

            How about demonizing criminals in your neighborhood 1/100th as much as you do the local police.

            Acting like a NAZI goes both ways.

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