A 16-year-old teenager skipping class from Southwest DeKalb High School was shot by a DeKalb County police officer investigating a home invasion.
Zaynaah Griffin, a friend of the teen, who she identified as Marquez Redden, told CBS Atlanta's Mike Paluska, Redden was shot through the right forearm. The bullet went through muscle and came out his elbow.
"He told me 'They shot me, he shot the wrong person,'" Griffin said. "He didn't know anyone's house got broken into, he got scared because kids get locked up for truancy, he ran and hid behind there."
We spoke to Griffin before she went to visit Redden at Grady Memorial Hospital.
"He was in a lot of pain, he thought he was dying," Griffin said.
Police Chief Cedric Alexander said officers were searching the area near Streamside Court in Decatur when one of them noticed someone start running through the woods.
"He saw police officers in the area, knew he was truant so he took off running," Alexander said. "And at one point, one of our officers saw him take off, along with a K-9 too."
The home invasion started around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Prince Norwood heard the sound of someone trying to break into her house. She hid in her closet and called 911 and then phoned her husband. DeKalb police were able to capture two suspects involved in the burglary hiding inside the ceiling of the home. At least two other suspects were on the run. At the time, Alexander said his officers were actively searching for the suspects and had no idea the teenager the officer was chasing was truant.
"He [the officer] was not aware at all, because he was going house-to-house still following the trail and that is when he came up on this truant kid," Alexander said. "We weren't even looking for him but unbeknown to the officers, they thought he was the one running away from the other crime scene."
The officer entered a shed where the teenager was hiding, got startled and fired one shot striking the teenager in the right arm.
Alexander said they just learned this morning that the 16-year-old was not involved in the home invasion when they went to the hospital to interview him.
"What I will say to the community is this, as things unfold in this department we are going to be forthright and transparent about it. And that is what we are doing here," Alexander said.
Griffin said Redden told her he was trying to surrender to police when he was shot.
"The officer came back there with a dog, and the officer said some language cussing him, and he threw his hands up and the police officer just shot him," Griffin said.
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