A police officer in Aurora, Colorado, killed a local homeowner Monday morning after mistaking him for an armed intruder, according to a statement from local police. The Aurora Sentinel reports that at around 1:30 a.m., police received calls about a break-in in Aurora, and that officers heard gunshots when they arrived at the home. They then found an armed man, whom they reportedly believed to be the intruder, and shot him. Tragically, the yet unidentified man was actually the owner of the home and a retired grandfather, who had just shot and killed the intruder. Officers later entered the home and found the intruder’s body, as well as a child who had suffered “serious injuries.”
The officer, who has not yet been identified, was placed on leave in accordance with department policy. The event is now being investigated by the Aurora Police Major Crimes Unit and the Denver Police Department, according to the Denver Post. “This is a very heartbreaking and tragic situation for everyone involved,” Aurora’s police chief said in a statement. “We are providing assistance through our victim advocates to help the family of the deceased resident through this very difficult time.” Other residents have also decried the death; one told the Post that the victim “was a family man—a grandpa that was protecting his family [...] it’s messed up.” This comes only a week after a Los Angeles Police Department officer accidentally shot an innocent employee during an armed standoff at Silverlake’s Trader Joe’s.