Rossville, GA – A family is heartbroken after their grandfather was shot and killed in his own home by police officers who arrived at the house in the middle of the night, and opened fire 30 seconds after they claim that they saw him in the kitchen with a firearm.
Video has yet to be released and details are still emerging from the Jan. 1 shooting that killed Mark Steven Parkinson, 65. Police have admitted that the beloved grandfather was not the target of the alleged welfare check that was being carried out by the sheriff’s deputies who knocked on his front door.
The deputies were initially dispatched after police received an anonymous 911 call around 3 a.m. that requested a welfare check at the residence. A report from the Walker County Messenger claimed that during the call, “information was provided that stated a female at the residence was threatening to kill herself and her children.”
The call did not originate from the Parkinson residence.
Greg Ramey, a special agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), told WTVC News that the 911 call “did not come from the house itself.” He also confirmed that “there was nothing going on at the residence to substantiate these claims, however, and the threats weren't true.”
At the time, the deputies arrived at the house knowing that they were being dispatched based on a tip from an anonymous caller who was not at the residence, therefore they were unsure of what kind of scene they would find.
Ramey told the Walker County Messenger that as soon as sheriff's deputies arrived at the house, they began knocking on the door and they “announced their arrival.” Instead of finding a suicidal woman, Deputy John Chandler claimed that he “observed Parkinson within the residence with a weapon.”
Ramey said that Parkinson was seen “in the kitchen, near a counter, and pointing a gun through a kitchen window at the deputy outside of the house,” claiming that the homeowner was aware someone was outside of his home.
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It should be noted that this encounter occurred around 3:15 a.m. If Parkinson was awoken in the middle of the night by a loud banging at his door, it is likely that he grabbed his firearm, went to his kitchen, and looked out of the window, in order to see who was outside of his house, attempting to get inside.
GBI Special Agent Ramey claimed that as soon as Deputy Chandler saw Parkinson, he waited “15-30 seconds” before he fired multiple shots, killing the homeowner. The current information that has been made public does not clarify whether the deputies had entered the home and were in the same room as Parkinson when Chandler opened fire, or whether Chandler shot through the kitchen window.
Ramey also confirmed that other members of the residence were “awake during the shooting and in relatively close proximity to the kitchen area where Parkinson was shot.” Given the fact that officers were reportedly called to the scene because a suicidal mother was threatening to kill herself and her children, it is absolutely barbaric that an officer would open fire at a target inside the residence, knowing that he could be putting the lives of two young children at risk.
Ashley Bryan, a family friend, told WRCBTV that she believes it was “a fake 911 call from someone outside the home” that led officers to the residence. She also said that she believes Parkinson, a Navy veteran, had his firearm because he would have protected his family from intruders at all costs.
"He might have been asleep when they said ‘Walker County Sheriff's Office,'" Bryan said. "Now that you are awake, do you really hear that with the dogs going crazy? I do not know. According to his wife, he never saw it coming."
The GBI is now investigating the shooting, but it has not released the identity of the 911 caller or a possible malicious motive, other than to say “there is a connection to the house and family where the incident happened.��
This shooting comes days after an innocent man was shot and killed by police in Wichita, Kansas, as he stood in the front doorway of his home. The 911 call claimed that there was an ongoing hostage situation at the residence following a homicide. However, the call was made by a disgruntled gamer in a different state, and the man who was killed had nothing to do with the Call of Duty game in which his address was publicized.
Now, another family has lost a loved one in a senseless act of violence that occurred as a result of police officers who failed to verify an anonymous 911 call from a separate location and instead used false information as an excuse to kill an innocent grandpa.