An October 31 hunt in Vancouver, Washington, for John Kendall, who was wanted for critically shooting his neighbor after a long-time dispute, ended in near-tragedy when an innocent bystander noticed what he believed was Kendall’s vehicle and called 911, only to be mistaken for the suspect and shot by the responding officers.
Officers were unaware that the caller had stayed with the car in question. However, officers also later admitted that they didn’t even see Kendall’s car, which was parked off of the road and in a wooded area, until after the gunfire had already erupted.
Nonetheless, when officers arrived and saw the caller, who they say matched the description of Kendall, standing near the trunk of his own car, they feared for their safety, as they believe Kendall was still armed with a rifle.
“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 Vancouver Police Department said in a statement released this week.
The man, who has not been identified, was shot in the leg and fired back at the officers, before calling 911 a second time to tell them he had been shot.
The incident remains under investigation and three officers involved are currently on administrative leave.