Cumberland County, NJ — Gerald Sykes, 76, and his wife woke up Friday night to their dogs barking and flashlights shining through their windows. Sykes immediately grabbed his shotgun and proceeded to the living room to defend his home. Sykes was ultimately shot by these intruders and was in critical condition.
Luckily Sykes pulled through. However, he will never see justice carried out against the intruders who shot him.
The intruders were cops.
On Friday, after the the state’s investigation into themselves concluded, they ruled that the troopers who went to Sykes’ home that night and shot him were justified — in spite of the fact that they had no reason to be there.
According to Philly.com Sykes’ attorney, Rich Kaser, said Friday that the family was considering a lawsuit. He said the state’s decision was disappointing but not surprising.
Sykes had done nothing wrong that night and was shot because of police incompetence. According to police, two state troopers were investigating a 9-1-1 hang-up call when they responded to Sykes’ residence. However, after police put the innocent man in the hospital, the attorney general’s office said it was discovered later that cops went to the wrong house.
Sykes never made a 9-1-1 call — until after he was shot by cops.
According to the police report, Sykes fired a single round through the sliding glass door to his home thinking he was the victim of a home invasion. He was correct, unfortunately.
During the incident, police officers fired four rounds. Three of those rounds struck Sykes.
Sykes was then airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden.
He ‘felt intruders were trying to get in and he was yelling to his wife to call 911,’ Rich Kaser, longtime family friend, and attorney told NJ.com.
Sykes “thought there were bad people out there,” the friend added.
The police report originally stated that Sykes fired first. However, Kaser said the family told him it was one of the two state troopers who fired first at the elderly man after seeing him standing in the living room with a shotgun.
It would also come out in the investigation that Sykes only fired after the two intruders shot him.
As NJ.com reported last July,
According to Kaser, Sykes himself, despite being seriously wounded, also called 911 for help.
Kaser said Sykes was ordered to come out of the house. His shirt now soaked in blood, his attorney said, he was helped out by his wife and then ordered to lay face-down on the ground and was handcuffed.
Sykes’ family was told Sykes was under arrest, according to Kaser, and the elderly man was then taken in handcuffs to be treated.
According to the report, one of the troopers was hit with broken glass or by a portion of the shotgun round. He was treated and immediately released.
Sykes, on the other hand, was not so lucky.
Now, unfortunately, if there is anyone punished for going to the home of an innocent man and shooting him, it will be the taxpayers.
Sadly, police responding to the wrong home and hurting or killing innocent people and their pets is common. In June, Georgia cops went to the wrong home and killed William Powell.
Last September, Georgia cops broke into an innocent couple’s home as they watched a movie on the sofa. During the gross act of negligence, the officers shot the homeowner, killed his dog, and then shot each other!