August 22, 2012
A California woman was shot in her own backyard by the most unlikely of assailants, a cop.
36-year-old Jennifer Orey was in her backyard this past Sunday night when she bumped into a “person holding a flashlight.” The next thing she knew she was leveled to the ground after being shot at point blank range, asking a police officer, “Why did you shoot me?”
Police were allegedly searching for a masked man after receiving a 9-1-1 call about a prowler wearing a ski-mask. They went into Orey’s backyard where she bumped into one of them, “startling” the officer who shot her.
Conflicting stories have begun circulating regarding the circumstances behind the events that led to the shooting and the extent of Orey’s injuries.
According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, Orey believed the noise was her ex-husband, however the Huffington Post says Orey had heard about the prowler and was trying to help police by looking around her house.
Huffington Post also reports police have begun damage control of the incident, downplaying the severity of Orey’s injuries.
Lt. Larry Nesbit told news crews that police shot Orey in the arm and that she would be released Monday, however, she is still in the hospital, and pictures from her hospital room reveal she was definitely shot in the chest.
Orey’s father, Dennis Morgan, is upset at the investigation’s lack of consistency telling San Diego 10 News, “You know what, you guys need to get your story straight…She wasn’t shot in the arm she was shot in the chest.”
Morgan says Orey stated that when she asked the officer why he shot her he never replied, but the Union-Tribune states that the officer replied, “I’m sorry, you startled me.”
Officers say they didn’t know it was the homeowner. Orey’s father tells a different story: “She saw a flashlight and identified herself as the homeowner and he shot her.”
Orey’s father is infuriated that police displayed such disregard for the safety of innocent bystanders. “I told them I’m really pissed off…I’m pissed off as hell. A cop could have very easily killed my daughter,” he told News 10.
Moreover, Orey’s family is outraged at the treatment she received after her injury. Her brother James Morgan says she put her hand on the responsible officer after being shot, but that he batted her away. He says she was also forced to render her own first aid as officers waited for the ambulance to arrive.
More than likely, police are trying to downplay the incident in order to forgo a deeper investigation. Either the officer that shot her is highly respected, or these cops are just doing what they routinely do…sticking up for each other, the public be damned.