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72-Year-Old Ronald Westbrook, An Air Force Veteran With Alzheimer's, Fatally Shot By Homeowner Who Thought Man Was A Prowler

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A man with advanced Alzheimer's wandered off and rang another man's doorbell in the early morning hours on Wednesday. When he didn’t respond to the homeowner’s commands, the homeowner shot and killed him.

Ronald Westbrook reportedly rang the doorbell of a home in Georgia at 4 a.m. on Wednesday after wandering around for nearly four hours in rural Walker County. The 72-year-old Westbrook, an Air Force veteran, had walked approximately three miles from his home by the time he approached the door.

Westbrook rang the bell and apparently tried turning the handle on the door. Homeowner Joe Hendrix allegedly confronted Westbrook on the property with a handgun. When Westbrook didn’t respond to Hendrix’s commands, Hendrix fired four shots and one hit Westbrook in the chest and killed him.

Westbrook likely couldn’t respond to Hendrix’s commands as the Alzheimer's had left him practically mute.

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The Chattanoogan reports that it’s likely that no charges will be filed against the 34-year-old Hendrix for the shooting. Hendrix had said that the man would not respond and kept coming toward him.

Hendrix reportedly had just moved in to the home with his fiancé, who was on the phone with 911, when he confronted Westbrook in the yard.

Sources: Mail Online, The Chattanoogan