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 is now fighting for his life in a New Jersey hospital after he was shot by these intruders.
The intruders were cops.
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 Saturday 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 where he was reported in critical but stable condition, officials said.
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 states 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.
When looking at the photo of the bullet holes, it appears to back up the family’s story.
Sykes was hit with three rounds. In the above image, we can see three bullet holes grouped closely together with a single 4th round away from those. If the officer fired all four rounds together, they likely would have been grouped together — but it is clearly not the case.
As NJ.com reports,
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. His family members are hoping that he pulls through.
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!