Prosecutors: Off Duty Officer Shoots Neighbor Mistaken For Burg

Prosecutors: Off Duty Officer Shoots Neighbor Mistaken For Burglar

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CAMDEN, N.J. -

The sound of two gunshots sent Mary Cortes clamoring for cover.

When she opened the door of her Camden home she witnessed  the aftermath of a  shooting just two  doors down.

"We saw them on the balcony taking care of someone hurt, "

That shooting victim,  likely a  caretaker of a  21-year-old man

with autism she's known for years.

Prosecutors say both men were shot by the 21-year-old  man's--neighbor.

An off duty Camden policeman.

Authorities say the off-duty officer thought he was being burglarized when the man with autism started banging on his door that somehow opened up.

"He should look before he's trigger happy," said neighbor Abe Gonzalez. "You don't pull out
your gun and shoot somebody."

Throughout the night investigators rotated in and out of the house on the 2800 block of Arthur trying to piece together what happened.

According to longtime friends, the door knocks were an innocent game the 21-year-old 

had played before.

"He should have asked what's going on," said Eli Martinez, a friend of the 21-year-old shooting victim. "I mean this has happened before but to shoot is unacceptable."

"He's mentally 2 or 3 years old," explained Mary Cortes when asked if the young man had gone door knocking before. "They'll do things like that."

The officer has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

 

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