On February 17 around 7:30 p.m., Georgia police officer Beth Gatny arrived at the Roupe household to serve a warrant for Mr. Roupe. When Roupe’s 17-year-old son Christopher opened the door, Gatny opened fire on the teenager, believing him to be holding a gun.
Gatny fired a single bullet into Roupe’s chest. The teen was transported to a hospital in Cartersville, where he was pronounced dead.
The Roupe family lawyers have said that Christopher did not have a gun. Instead, they explained, it was likely that he was holding a video game controller for the Nintendo Wii.
“It just doesn’t add up,” family attorney Cole Law said. “He heard a knock at the door. He 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.”
According to the Daily Caller, Gatny, who has been placed on administrative leave, had made similar mistakes in the past, and had a long history of blunders and poor job performance.
In 2008, she reportedly fired her gun at a suspect who was opening his backpack because she thought he was armed. Not only was the suspect unarmed, but her partner also said that the suspect’s behavior had given her no reason to think otherwise. In the ensuing investigation, Gatny was found innocent.
She was later reportedly fired from her job as a police officer in Acworth, Ga. for failing to show up at work. Gatny sought disability compensation, but personnel records indicate that she was rejected because her claims were “not medically supported.”
Other reported offenses tallied against Gatny over the years include two reprimands – one for failure to follow orders, and another for leaving her weapon with a civilian while her picture was taken.
Furthermore, she was also involved in four car accidents.
She had been on Eurharlee’s police force for nine months before the February incident.
Christopher Roupe was a ROTC member at Woodland High School, and was planning to sign up for the Marines.
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