alterego Report This Comment
Date: November 26, 2006 05:11AM
ATLANTA — A police official said narcotics officers were justified in
returning fire on a 92-year-old woman they shot to death after she shot them as
they tried to serve a warrant at her house.
Neighbors and relatives said it was a case of mistaken identity. But police said
the woman, identified as Kathryn Johnston, was the only resident in the house at
the time and had lived there for about 17 years.
Assistant Chief Alan Dreher said the officers had a legal warrant and
"knocked and announced" before they forced open the door. He said they
were justified in shooting once they were fired upon.
As the plainclothes Atlanta police officers approached the house about 7 p.m., a
woman inside started shooting, striking each of them, said Officer Joe Cobb, a
One was hit in the arm, another in a thigh and the third in a shoulder. The
officers were taken to a hospital for treatment, and all three were conscious
and alert, police said.
Sarah Dozier, identified as a niece of the woman, told WAGA-TV that there were
never any drugs at the house.
"My aunt was in good health. I'm sure she panicked when they kicked that
door down," Dozier said. "There was no reason they had to go in there
and shoot her down like a dog."
Rev. Markel Hutchins, a civil rights leader, said Johnston's family deserves an
"Of the police brutality cases we've had, this is the most egregious
because of the woman's age," Hutchins said.