By Steve Visser
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
DeKALB COUNTY, Ga. — DeKalb County police officers possibly shot their own sergeant after a car driven by a burglar barrelled in their direction, a top law officer revealed Friday.
Cedric Alexander, the county's director of public safety, said earlier accounts that indicated Sgt. Nicole Hines had been shot Thursday afternoon during an exchange of gunfire with escaping burglars were untrue.
"It appears that Sgt. Hines' injuries may have been sustained from friendly fire," Alexander said. "These kind of things happen occasionally when you have bullets flying. Bullets can ricochet off cement."
Hines and her team had responded to reports of a burglary in progress at a home in the 5600 block of Cape Cod Lane, near Salem Road. They were outside when three young men inside the home tried to escape, Alexander said.
One of the men drove the homeowner's Lexus through the garage door in a "violent and reckless manner," surprising the officers who fired at the car as it drove toward them, Alexander said.
One bullet pierced Hines' ankle, he said. She was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where she was listed Friday afternoon in good condition.
The Lexus crashed into a tree and the driver was arrested, Alexander said.
Internal affairs is investigating the incident to determine which of the four officers at the scene fired the shot, he said.
None of the three men arrested was carrying a handgun, Alexander said. Police did locate two handguns inside the house, which the burglars are believed to have brought with them and ditched when police arrived, he said.
Besides the man who was arrested in the car, another man was tracked down by a police dog and a third was found hiding in the home, Alexander said.
The men were arrested on various charges, including burglary, aggravated assault on a police officer and car theft.
They were identified as James Montez, 20, of Stone Mountain; Dorian Pursley, 23, of Lithonia; and Quintavous Dennis, 18, of Morrow.
McClatchy-Tribune News Service
Copyright 2014 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution