Officer says she thought Wii controller was a firearm
February 20, 2014
A 17-year-old was killed by police knocking on his door after he opened it while holding a Nintendo controller, according to the attorney of the late teen’s family.
Christopher Roupe died inside his home in Euharlee, Ga. Friday night after being shot by an officer who was attempting to serve a probation violation warrant for his father.
The police officer told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that Roupe pointed a gun at her when he opened the door, but the family’s attorney, Cole Law, recently told WSBTV that the teenager was actually holding a Nintendo Wii controller.
“The eyewitnesses on the scene clearly state that he had a Wii controller in his hand,” he said. “He heard a knock at the door and asked who it was, there was no response so he opened the door and upon opening the door he was immediately shot in the chest.”
This incident sparks memories of the 13-year-old who was shot seven times in 10 seconds by a deputy sheriff in Sonoma Co., Cali. last October after he mistook the airsoft rifle that the boy was carrying for an actual firearm.
Two of the rounds that hit the boy, Andy Cruz, proved to be fatal.
The incident took place in the middle of the day and Cruz’s plastic rifle had a transparent middle, prompting critics to contend that the officer, Dep. Erick Gelhaus, should have known the difference instead of shooting Cruz almost immediately, especially considering that Gelhaus served as his department’s armourer.
More recently, police in Yakima, Wash. shot a man in the head after mistaking his disassembled airsoft gun for a real rifle.
The department’s spokesman admitted that the officer shot the man, who was sitting in his car, after opening his passenger door without warning and without even talking to the driver.
He also said that he thought the airsoft gun had an orange, plastic tip which indicates that it is not an actual firearm.
Yet unlike these past two shootings, the Nintendo Wii controller that witnesses say Roupe was holding doesn’t even resemble a firearm.