SD County Sheriff Response to Homeowner Shooting: Silence

It was a dark and stormy night. OK, it wasn’t stormy, but it was dark when San Diego County Sheriff deputies responded to a report of a suspicious man wearing a ski mask in a La Presa, CA neighborhood. Before they could get there, though, he ski-daddled, so they broadened their search. Two deputies noticed and open gate to one house’s back yard and, thinking it suspicious, moved in with guns drawn. Then Jennifer Orey, who made the initial call, announced herself . . .

“She saw a flashlight and identified herself as the homeowner and he shot her,” said Orey’s father, Dennis Morgan.

Jumpy much there, Deputy Dawg?

Authorities said they did not know exactly what prompted the shooting. They said the woman did not have anything in her hands and was not armed at the time.

There’s a fair-sized kerfuffle over just where Orey was struck by the unnamed constable’s round. Here’s the department’s account:

“At some point, while in the backyard of the residence, there was contact between the deputies, who had their weapons drawn, and a female resident of the home,” Nesbit said. “During that contact, one of the deputies fired from his service weapon. The female was struck in the arm by the round.”

But her family’s calling bullshit.

“You know what, you guys need to get your story straight,” said Dennis Morgan, Orey’s father. “She wasn’t shot in the arm she was shot in the chest.”

Orey’s sister-in-law, Kristin Arzaga-Morgan, told 10News Orey made it through surgery early Monday to repair the wounds from the bullet that entered her chest, exited through her bicep and struck her pinky finger. ”

Part of a bullet ricocheted off and hit her in the pinky, and they also had to do a little bit of repair to her pinky as well,” said Arzaga-Morgan.

San Diego County Sheriff Bill Gore said that is not true. Gore told 10News he has been monitoring the situation and said with assurance that Orey had been shot in the arm and that her pinky was “scratched.”

Since Orey’s expected to survive, exactly where the woman was shot should be cleared up in the fullness of time. But if Orey had followed the advice of the deputy with the itchy trigger finger, things probably would have gotten a whole lot worse. He told her to lie on her back until the paramedics arrived. But Orey knows something about first aid.

Her father said Orey was the first woman accepted in the Navy’s Air and Sea Rescue team and she knew if she stayed on her back she would die, so she turned on her side and waited.

We’ll leave it to TTAG’s official EMT Nick to deconstruct that part of the after-action report (UPDATE FROM NICK: Plausible). In the mean time, Orey, who remained conscious, just wanted to know why the unnamed officer shot her.

“After he shot her, she looked at him and said, ‘Why did you shoot me?’” said Morgan.

Orey told her father the deputy never answered her.

Guess the cops are learning that whole STFU thing, too.

75 Responses to SD County Sheriff Response to Homeowner Shooting: Silence

  1. avatarMark says:

    Sounds like the deputy needs some remedial training in target recognition if not an alternative career path.

    • avatarTotenglocke says:

      Sounds to me like the Deputy should get a taste of his own medicine and face a firing squad of people who are victims of police violence.

  2. avatarTR says:

    Remedial training? He shot an unarmed woman with absolutely no cause whatsoever. Throw him in jail and try him with attempted murder, or at least manslaughter.

    • avatarAragorn says:

      Settle down sunshine.
      Unless there is proof the deputy shot this women out of malice it
      gets filed under accidental shooting and he gets non-judicial punishment.

      • avatarDoug says:

        That’s absolutely ridiculous. If I “accidentally” shoot someone in the chest while I enter their property with a weapon drawn, I’m going to freaking jail. This cop should too.

        • avatarMishcoff says:

          Plus one doug. I respect leos, my brother is one, but they are subject to the same laws they personify, he should never wear a badge again.

        • avatarI_Like_Pie says:

          Yep…that thing (best word I can use without being obscene) should be fired.

          I would pay money to a fund to ensure that this man’s career is over.

      • avatarGreg Camp says:

        He enters the back yard and opens fire on the first target that he fails to identify? Now let’s imagine that the shooter was an ordinary citizen.

      • avatarJake says:

        That would never happen for someone without a badge, ipso facto it should never happen for someone with one. I am responsible for my actions at my workplace, just as I am responsible for actions outside it. Someone whose job is to carry a gun all day should be held to a HIGHER standard of personal responsibility, not lower. Oh but we want to be nice and understanding to the twip who shot a woman for no reason, go throw that notion in a well and follow it.

    • avatarhomobangbangamus says:

      Can’t do that because the politicians need their trigger pullers and really enjoy participation at every graduating academy class, especially the oath portion, where they hear the class swear a loyalty oath to the politicians present. Then their command staff does everything possible to reinforce it.

      And that my friends is the truth and Constitution and Bill of Rights be damned.

      It’s all about them and what they want and believe. Pretty much like every other third rate banana republic but with really cool toys, rubber stamping judges and unlimited funding!

  3. avatarjwm says:

    she survived, so manslaughter is a bit of a stretch. as is attempted murder. some sort of assualt seems right. definetly needs to be his last day in law enforcement.

    • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

      Reckless endangerment at least. I like how no one has asked why the officer didn’t identify himself before he fired on someone who had identified themselves. What would have happened to the woman if she had shot an unidentified intruder in her backyard, that turned out to be the officer?
      My guess is throw the book at her.

  4. avatarPascal says:

    The cop will get admistrative duty, a stern talking to and probably a promotion at some future point. A citizen would be going to jail for a long time because they are held to a higher standard than even the police.

    Mistakes happen, it is a high stress situation and these guys may not be as well trained as we are told. My issue is they can make a mistake like this and nothing will happen. And they will be sure to cover it up as much as they can.

    This is what kills me when the gun grabbers believe you can just call the police to save the day. Instead of pissing away money on LEO 1033 military transfer program how about more training and less gear….or maybe just training on the proper first aid when they eff up! Oh wait, if they eff up the first aid they can’t be held liable for that either!

    Are there any FBI stats on how often things like this happen?

  5. avatarJames St. John says:

    A murder charge should not be dependent on the success of the act. Once the trigger is pulled with intent you have killed someone. You should get the same punishment if you succeed, are bumballing idiot, or the victim is strong enough to survive the attack.

  6. avatarMichael B. says:

    The deputy is totally in the wrong here for not using greater safety practices. That being said, it’s not wise to go into the dark when there are men with guns wandering around out there. If you call the cops about some suspicious person outside at night on your property, stay indoors until they knock on your door and ask to come in or dispatch calls you back.

    • avatarDoug says:

      Nice blaming the victim. Just like it’s the rape victim’s fault for dressing so provocatively huh?

      • avatarAharon says:

        I didn’t get the sense that MB is ‘blaming’ the victim rather MB is pointing out her lack of common sense behavior. Regardless if the cop is found at fault or not, she should not have been there.

        If the SWAT Team is doing a sweep of a person’s house to clear it of intruders a person should not throw open a door and burst into the room yelling ‘Hey! to the police.

        There are human animals in society that do not play by codes of chivalry and have little self control. A female that dresses like a horny slut and puts herself into the wrong place at the wrong time to satisfy her ego is an idiot.

        • avatarSandmand says:

          Aharon – “Regardless if the cop is found at fault or not, she should not have been there.” You defend MB in not “blaming” the victim but yet you just blamed the victim for being on her own property. Your logic fails.

        • avatarLibertarian_Geek says:

          Read the article again.
          This wasn’t the original house. Don’t assume that she went into the darkness. She may have been outside smoking or feeding the dog.

          Knowing that, why would anyone claim that she shouldn’t have been outside in her own back yard? She was already there when the cops decided to come through her gate.

          They weren’t even called to her house. Remember, the police broadened their search. The only people who knew any part of what was going on were :
          1> The original suspect
          2> the person who called the cops
          3> the cops

          Notice how this lady is not one of the 3 above groups?

          She announced herself to the cops(probably trying to avoid spooking deputy Fife) and bang. From the description of her injuries, I’d guess that she had her hands up at the time she was shot.

          I’m not sure how anyone can say that she did anything wrong or stupid based on what you know from the story.

  7. avatarSanchanim says:

    Wow, just wow…
    Queue the lawyers in 3…..2……1……

  8. avatarJohn Boch says:

    Cop had his finger on the trigger and got a sympathetic contraction of his muscles when he got startled, causing the gun to fire – as it’s supposed to do when you press the trigger!

    At the very least, it would seem that department’s firearm trainers need to take everyone out behind the woodshed and make damn sure they know to keep their booger pickers off the bang switches unless they’ve DECIDED TO FIRE and not a moment before.

    John

  9. avatarJoshinGA says:

    This cop needs to find a new line of work. The whole protect and serve thing isnt working out for him.

  10. avatarAharon says:

    While I’m for the officer to be investigated (and charged if in the wrong) Orey should not have ventured outside in the dark in an area with armed police. She is not part of their ‘team’. Does she have a heroine complex(?), maybe.

    • avatarbuzzy243 says:

      If she was actually a Navy rescue swimmer then, at some point in her life, she was a serious bad-ass. So she might be one of the few people on earth who can be excused for behaving a little like a hero. It was still stupid to go outside.

    • avatarTSgt B says:

      HOW IN HELL WAS SHE SUPPOSED TO KNOW THAT THERE WERE ARMED PEOPLE OUTSIDE?!?!?

      Bottom line: COP(S) F@#KED UP!

      My 5 year old granddaughter knows not to shoot if you’re not sure of your target.
      I’m retired military and a former cop. I support them EXCEPT WHEN THEY ARE UNDENIABLY WRONG.

    • avatarJake says:

      I suppose you haven’t unlocked your front door at any point in the last several decades just in case there happen to be armed cops running around shooting anything that moves out there?

  11. avatarsurlycmd says:

    I wonder how the Sheriff is gonna explain the chest wound?

  12. avatarbuzzy243 says:

    “Her father said Orey was the first woman accepted in the Navy’s Air and Sea Rescue team.”

    I’m not sure what that has to do with her being shot but I’m calling bullshit. Wikipedia says the first female Navy rescue swimmer was Catherine Elliott (Rizzo) HMC (AC) USN Ret.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rescue_swimmer

    No matter who this Jennifer Orey person really is, she should have stayed inside while the cops were running around. That is by no means meant to excuse the officer who shot her, but I have a feeling that there is more to this story than either side is letting on.

    • avatarCharles5 says:

      The implication is that her first aid training from being the a part of the rescue team program told her to lie on her side, thus allowing her to survive. That is what it has to do with the shooting. I have no medical training beyond basic CPR, so I have no idea if she knows what she is talking about. Also, saying that she was the first female accepted to the Navy’s Air and Sea Rescue team does not mean she was a rescue swimmer. That being said, her father’s statement may still be complete BS.

      • avatarScott says:

        As an ER doc, lying on her back is fine. Guess what happened when the paramedics arrived? They logged rolled her onto her back. When they got ready to transport the patient, she was put onto a “back” board, on her back, and transported to the ER…on her back. Guess what happened when the paramedics delivered the patient to the ER? She got put onto a gurney…on her back. Guess how she was lying when she went to radiology for her CT scan? On her back!! When she went to the OR for surgery, guess how she was lying? On her back!

        Sounds like the whole situation just went “sideways”…sorry, couldn’t resist!

        • Depending on where exactly the wound was, she may very well have benefited by laying on her side. If the bullet nicked the lung and started causing her lungs to fill with blood, then laying on her side would have let the blood drain instead of sloshing over into lung #2. It would have been one hell of a hemo/pneumothorax, but it would have worked.

          As for transport, unless there’s a MoI where spinal injury is indicated I always prefer to transport in a position of comfort rather than strapped to a backboard. With a bullet wound that low I probably wouldn’t even care about spinal involvement since its well into the thoracic area and no longer an immediate risk to my patient — quick transport and controlling the bleeding would be higher on my priority list.

          I’m just trying to picture how this went down based on the description of the wounds, and all I can come up with is that she had her hands up in front of her, and the round went past the pinky, passed through the upper limb, and skirted the side of the chest. Unless there was some magic bullet shit going down…

        • avatarScott says:

          Sorry Nick, but you’re wrong. I’m a board certified ER doc with 30 years of trauma experience, and I’m also the Base Hospital physician (I teach, interact, and discipline [when necessary] the medics). I could intentionally fill up one side of a patient’s chest with blood or whatever I preferred, and it would NEVER “slosh” on over to the other side. The mediastinum prevents this from happening. And, patients with a GSW are presumed to have a spinal cord injury until proven otherwise, so they SHOULD always be transported with this possibility in mind. This means on their back, immobilized. And you’re right, “quick” transport; don’t “stay and play”.

        • avatarGunDOc says:

          +1 from another EM Doc. Sorry Nick. Your lungs are a closed system so they hold all that wonderful air you are breathing. Over time, fluid is reabsorbed from the lungs, they don’t magically drain like a sink.

        • avatarcleek says:

          But she was only “…shot in the arm.” /sarcasm

        • avatarBilly Wardlaw says:

          My guess is that she is lying on her injured side so the shot lung doesn’t fill the good lung with blood.

  13. avatarRalph says:

    A cop shot an innocent citizen who wasn’t holding a comb, iPad or cell phone? Gee, that never happens.

    Way to take one for the dog, Ms. Orey.

  14. avatarGS650G says:

    Deputy arrested? And why not? If an ordinary person, not a Super Citizen, did this then they would be arrested. No doubt about it.

    • avatarAharon says:

      True. Someday: the gubermint will begin issuing national ID cards with ratings on it such as citizen 1st class get out of jail free, citizen 2nd class, debtor level 1, debtor level 2, and other information such as gun owner, non-party member, religious practice, employer, etc.

  15. avatarAccur81 says:

    I hate reading stories like this. It looks as though the Sheriff needs to be charged.

  16. avatarDerrick says:

    Congratulations [unnamed] deputy on your negligent discharge… all of San Diego County thanks you, as the Sheriff’s Department (thus their tax dollars) will be opening their checkbook wide for this one!

  17. avatarAir Force TSgt says:

    And with one pull of the trigger SD goes 5-10 million more in debt. Great Job.

  18. avatarMatt says:

    Only the cops should have guns…they’re ‘trained’. Sheriff Gore in full cover up mode, which I suppose he has plenty of time for since he doesn’t spend any time approving CCW/LTC apps…

  19. avatarCameron S. says:

    Proper firearms training?

    He wouldn’t have shot her if his trigger finger was indexed until he was locked on a confirmed target.

    I hope this serves as a lesson to other boys in blue – you have to follow all the firearms safety rules that you preach. It’s funny how cops are about 3x more likely to hit an innocent when they pull the trigger in a shooting that armed civilians are…

    • avataranonymous says:

      > cops are about 3x more likely to hit an innocent
      > when they pull the trigger in a shooting
      > than armed civilians are…

      Citation, please.

      • avatarCameron S. says:

        Cited evidence to this claim is in the 80-something page pamphlet available for download at gunfacts.info

  20. avatarHenry Bowman says:

    File this one under William Grigg’s “Dial 911 and die” archive. (Well, almost)

  21. avatarmark says:

    This is the same sheriffs department that _WILL_NOT_ issue a concealed carry permit unless you’re connected. I’m pretty sure Gore’s deputies have shot more people on accident than all California’s CCW holders combined. :(

  22. avatarGreg Camp says:

    And the control freaks wonder why I’m not ready to hand over my safety to the authorities just yet…

  23. avatarAzimuth says:

    This is the tragic result of poor trigger discipline, not to mention, completely failing the shoot-don’t shoot scenario. Practicing trigger discipline at the range is easy. Your trigger finger is extended along the side, and rests on the front of the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot. Don’t touch the trigger till you have confirmed your target, and whether your target is, or is not a threat. Remember, your finger is the last safety on any gun you hold, and you can’t take back the bullet once you’ve pulled the trigger.

  24. avatarLevi B says:

    Police should get tasers and pepper spray. Most of them are not responsible enough for guns.

  25. avatarrevjen45 says:

    Maybe one should think twice about calling the police for trivialities like prowlers. It wasn’t a life and death situation until the boys in blue got there. Shut off the lights, lock up, cuddle the Persuader, and deal with it if the goblin makes entry. Then leave and report the shooting from a safe location. (sarcasm off)

  26. avatarSandmand says:

    At least no dogs were shot this time.

  27. avatarWiregrass says:

    I guess the safe thing to do is to take the same approach to interaction with the police that I take with other drivers when on the road: Initially assume they are too stupid to be doing what they are doing.

  28. avatarSid says:

    SWITCH TO DECAF, PEOPLE.

    Read as much as possible. Multiple sources. It is not hard. Use Google and the interweb thingy already connected to your computer.

    1) She did not call 911. The person who called 911 lived 2 blocks away on a different street.

    2) She was not looking for anyone or anything. She was just in her backyard.

    3) She had nothing in her hands. No flashlight or cellphone or weapon-like thing. Empty hands.

    4) She was not wearing a ski mask. The cops were responding to a call about a man wearing a ski mask.

    5) She was NOT treated and released. She had surgery and was listed in good condition.

    Now, with those points in mind, do you care to adjust or delete your comments? In the words of Deputy Marshall Samuel Gerard, “Do you want to change you bullshit story, sir?” She was not wandering around her backyard looking for bad guys after she called 911. She was in her backyard when the deputies ran in and shot her.

    I am prior Military Police. I am prone to have faith in the LEO community. But this was a huge screw-up compounded by a bad press interaction on the Sheriff’s part. Lying to the press moves the settlement amount to the left with commas. A deputy shot an unarmed citizen in her own backyard because he was startled. Sad, but human. Don’t make it worse by projecting that she was snooping around like the characters on Scooby Doo looking for bad guys. She was in her own backyard. Don’t belittle her injuries. It would have been acceptable to defer comment or say “the injuries do not appear to be life-threatening”. But be accurate with what you know and don’t assume.

    Now, if you followed all of that and it does not pertain to your comments, by all means enjoy a cup of coffee. But if the 5 reported and verified points above cause you to rethink your comments, switch to decaf and step away from the computer.

  29. avatarDexter says:

    Looks like “Furtive movement and two weeks off” strikes again.

  30. avatarIdahoPete says:

    “After he shot her, she looked at him and said, ‘Why did you shoot me?’” said Morgan.

    Orey told her father the deputy never answered her.

    Deputy Dawg: “Hey, some people just look like they need shooting. You reminded me of my ex-wife.”

    And who are these peasants that think to question the actions of the aristocracy of power?

  31. avatarspeedracer5050 says:

    The cop messed up!!!! Plain and simple!!! Not aware of his target, not paying enuff attention to his surroundings and backstop,etc!!!
    Another ND involving an innocent homeowner and the officer will more than likely keep his job, the Sheriff will apologize about his mistaken statement and write her a peace offering STFU check and all will be right with the world once again!!!!
    BTW when is someone going to invent a sarcasm key for keyboards??? Really would be a great invention!!!!

  32. avatarBorn free American says:

    I recommend any and all Americans that come across this story to contact the s.d sheriffs depart and leave a message for mr William D. Gore stating you want this ignorant deputy to face criminal charges!

    here are some numbers!

    Administrative Center Front Desk (858) 974-2222

    Homicide Detail
    (858) 974-2321

    Media Relations
    (858) 974-2259

  33. avatarOther Derek says:

    At the very least, Officer Shootemup should be terminated from employment and have his POST certifications revoked.

    I would also like to see a reckless endangerment charge.

  34. avatarJohn Paschke says:

    Tragic. Chalk up another one for the revenuers.

  35. avatarbontai Joe says:

    She was released from the hospital as of this report today:
    http://www.10news.com/news/31374150/detail.html

    And her family sounds pretty mad, and justifiably so in my opinion.

  36. avatarbontai Joe says:

    Here is another updated report:
    http://www.fox5sandiego.com/news/kswb-family-of-sheriff-shooting-speaks-20120821,0,6292734.story

    According to this report she is a disabled Navy veteran and a single mom. And the deputy is on “administrative leave” and I don’t know if that is with or without pay, pending further investigation.

  37. avatarDave S says:

    The SO PIO should have got the extent of injuries right or made no comment at all!

    Mistakes happen under stress and in the dark, so would wait for the Review report to blame the Deputy.

    At least the SO should be doing is making the victim whole asap, w/o delay or excuse.

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