Police Enter Wrong Apartment and Kill US Service Member

(RepublicanJournal.org) – A member of a US Air Force special operations unit has been shot dead by a Florida police officer. Senior Airman Roger Fortson answered the door at his apartment, then a police officer saw his legally owned handgun and shot him multiple times. It seems the tragedy happened because police responding to a call went to the wrong apartment.

On May 3, the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a domestic disturbance at Chez Elan Apartments in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. The call, from the apartment complex’s leasing office, allegedly said a black male had been shot multiple times in the chest.

An officer responded to the call but apparently went to the wrong apartment. The door he knocked on belonged to Fortson, a 23-year-old air gunner with the 4th Special Operations Squadron, which operates the AC-130J Ghostrider gunship out of the nearby Hurlburt Field.

According to prominent attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Fortson’s family, the airman was home alone and on a video call with a woman when there was a “very aggressive” knock on the door. The woman told Crump Fortson looked through the peephole but didn’t see anyone; he then got his legally owned handgun and returned to the door, but before he reached it, “police burst through the door” and, seeing the gun, opened fire, hitting Fortson six times.

Bodycam video released on May 9 tells a slightly different story; in the footage, the officer can be heard shouting, “Sheriff’s office! Open the door!” Fortson then opens it, holding his handgun low against his right thigh. On seeing the officer, he raises his left hand, but the officer immediately fires six shots at him.

The officer then tells him to drop the gun, which he already did when he was shot, and Fortson replies, “It’s over there. I don’t have it.” Fortson was then taken to hospital, where he died of his wounds.

The officer who shot Fortson has now been put on administrative leave, and Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement is investigating the incident.

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