CEO's Blog, Murder, trespassing

Alzheimer’s Sufferer, Fatally Shot Knocking On The Wrong Door …


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Ronald Westbrook, 72, slipped unnoticed from his North Georgia home at 1:00 AM with his two dogs. Westbrook, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, knocked in the dark on a stranger’s door. Police said a man inside that home, 34-year-old Joe Hendrix, got a .40-caliber handgun, went outside to investigate and shot Westbrook in what is being called a horrible mistake.

Hendrix declined to comment because of the ongoing investigation. His attorney, Lee Davis, described his client as distraught. The local district attorney has not yet decided whether to press criminal charges against Hendrix for shooting a stranger possibly looking for help.

Hendrix’ attorney said about his client “He is not a gun-toting rights activist who’s saying, ‘Keep off my property,” Davis said. “He’s a man who thought he had to take action because of what he believed to be a real and imminent threat.”

Under Georgia law, people are not required to try retreating from a potential conflict before opening fire to defend themselves from serious imminent harm. State law allows people to use lethal force to stop someone from forcibly entering a home if those inside reasonably fear they are going to be attacked. Deadly force can even be used to stop someone from trying to forcibly enter a home to commit a felony.

Different people have a different understanding of what is reasonable, reasonableness is a classic question for a jury in my opinion.

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26 thoughts on “Alzheimer’s Sufferer, Fatally Shot Knocking On The Wrong Door …”

  1. If Georgia has this stand your ground law, then it seems as though Mr. Hendrix moved his ground from a private residence to a public arena. This is a big difference. Mr. Westbrook wasn’t a threat to the man in the public arena or in the house. So WTF?

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  2. One wonders how much more ‘non-threatening’ a person has to be in order to avoid getting shot. Apparently the front porch of anyone’s house is like some kind of moated drawbridge that addled old men and injured, disoriented young girls dare not cross. Smh wow

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  3. No one should be surprised that in our paranoid, well-armed society, innocent people are gunned down because some trigger-happy homeowner thinks his gun makes him a god

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  4. No one asked this guy to retreat but maybe he should have waited for a confrontation instead of seeking one out? The lawyer is scrambling to justify a bad shooting.

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  5. If you are inside your home with the doors and windows locked, why in the hell would you step outside? What happened to calling the police when someone is ringing your bell? Fool was paranoid.

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  6. I read about this. 😦 what’s really sad is the victim was an Air Force veteran. Served his country and died at the hands of a coward.

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  7. Actions have consequences and unfortunately firing a weapon to kill someone is the ultimate consequence. Even if he’s NOT charged he will always have blood on his hands.

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  8. Hendrix should be charged with homicide. Westbrook never represented a potential threat, he knocked and rang the door bell, he was not coming through his door. FOH!!

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