An investigation is underway after a weekend welfare check on a 70-year-old man in a Birmingham, Alabama, assisted living facility ended with the man getting shot.
Local law enforcement were asked to check on the man, whose name has not been released, when after several attempts, the man’s son was unable to make contact. A police officer, as well as several firefighters, responded to the man’s fourth-floor apartment just before 8 p.m. Friday, a local ABC affiliate reported.
However, the elderly man, who is believed to be suffering from dementia, answered the door with a gun in his hand. The man was told twice by the unidentified officer to drop his weapon, but the requests went ignored. When the man then raised the firearm and pointed it at the face of one of the firefighters, the officer opened fire.
The man fell back into his apartment and shut authorities out. At that point, the officer called for backup and when additional officers arrived, they were able to convince the man to open his door. The officers then realized that the man had been shot twice in the abdomen.
The man was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but about 11 p.m. the same night, he was said to be in stable condition.
It’s unknown if the officer who fired the shots has been placed on administrative leave, which is typical protocol for most police departments, but the State Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the incident.
A similar event occurred less than two weeks ago at a home in Gastonia, North Carolina, when authorities conducted a welfare check on a 74-year-old Korean War veteran who had recently undergone surgery.
Officers knocked on James Allen’s door twice earlier in the day, but did not receive a response. When authorities went back for a third time, fearing that Allen was in need of emergency assistance, they forced entry into the home. But they were met by Allen, who was armed with a .22-caliber handgun, and when Allen aimed the weapon at authorities, he was shot. Allen later died from injuries sustained from the gunshot wounds. Friends and family believe he likely armed himself because he thought someone was breaking into his home.