Georgia Teen Answers Door With Wii Controller in Hand . . . Police Officer Shots And Kills Teen

wii20n-4-webChristopher Roupe, 17, was a ROTC student at at Woodland High School in Georgia who dreamed of serving his country in the Marines. That dream came to an end when he answered a knock on the door of his trailer home. He found himself face-to-face with Euharlee police officers who promptly shot him to death. An officer said that she saw a weapon in his hand. It turned out to be a Wii controller.

250px-Wii_Remote_ImageThe police were there to execute a probation violation warrant against his father. In defense of the officers, a probation violation can be one of the more dangerous assignments though it is not clear whether the father was wanted on a violent crime. However, a Wii remote is not only white but rectangular and thin. It is hardly strange that someone will come to the door with a drink or some other object in his or her hand. Moreover, this was a young boy and not the suspect.

The officer was seen afterward crying after she learned that she had shot an unarmed teenager.

The family says that he had asked who was at the door but received no response. They insist that the shot was virtually immediate after he opened the door.

There are many mistaken shootings including some which are terrible tragic but understandable as when officers chase an individual suspected of a violent crime only to have the suspect suddenly turn on them in the dark. However, this was not the suspect and there was clearly a failure to identify either the person or the object before lethal force was used. It reminds me of the recent case of police shooting a man holding a pair of underwear.

This small police department can expect a wrongful death lawsuit, but the question is what actions will be taken against the officer who is now on administrative leave.


60 thoughts on “Georgia Teen Answers Door With Wii Controller in Hand . . . Police Officer Shots And Kills Teen”

  1. Sagon Penn was indicted for killing a San Diego policeman, then aquitted on self-defense grounds because he believed, as a black man, that the police were trying to kill him. Given the trigger-happy police today, I’m inclined to enroll in quick-draw training. Then, when a police officer draws his or her gun to shoot me, I’ll shoot first. At least I’ll have a better chance to live by pleading self defense than by doing nothing at all.

  2. Bruce wrote:
    “Police work isn’t a womans job”
    Bruce you are wrong there. There is only one “woman’s job” left in our country and that is a surrogate because last I checked men cannot become pregnant.

    I have worked with men women in the law enforcement world and there is nothing in the profession that would preclude women from making good officers.

    The only time I saw this as being an issue was back in the 1980’s when there were a lot of, shall we say, “old school” types of cops still around in my area who believed such as you do and they made life for the few women in the field then very difficult and insulting. One of the cities’ department in my county had a lot of old boys and they treated the first woman officer like dirt but she stuck with it and is still working for them today.

    Fortunately this bad attitude retired out a decade or more ago. New guys out of the academy don’t think the way you do at all. They treat women the same because in their minds they don’t conceive the notion that women are not qualified. There migh be some dinosaurs left in some backwood hick department somewhere but I ain’t seen any in a real department today.

  3. Some of the comments at are sociopathic:

    No one will ever have the right words to say, to make you or this situation better. I can only pray for you and your loved ones, hoping you are able to return. You are our sister and no matter what anyone else says, you are a “AGENT OF WRATH”, you bare the sword for a reason. Thank you for your selfless service so far, I hope your recovery is quick, we will be here fighting until you return.

    Christ in heaven…what the hell do you say to a cop with that attitude?? The officer is the victim for killing the innocent kid?

    More where that came from…

    Until people quit carrying around items that look like guns, this will continue, officer had no choice. Move on.

    So having anything in your hands or on your person at any time when a police officer enters or approaches your property is cause to kill you. Because as we all know, officer safety is the most important thing. /venomous sarcasm/

  4. Folks

    With some of the requests that have been made as to police shootings in general and what the outcomes are I think it might be best if rather than just a comment here that a full article be written. I will try to get one out this weekend.

  5. Lesson to be learned when interacting at any level with trigger happy; shoot to kill, ask questions later, and poorly trained police: Have nothing n your hand besides money. Do not move your eyes, your legs, or your mouth besides to say ‘I surrender’ whether you are innocent or not.

  6. Darren:

    Could you give us a thumbnail sketch of the procedure your department used in reviewing a shooting like this one? I think the process would be interesting to learn about. I’d like to know who is typically on the review panel and how the process is conducted. How is evidence gathered and by whom? Who convenes the inquiry? Are mitigating factors considered like officer’s experience and training, etc. in deciding what to do?


  7. Officer should be fired, if not held criminally liable for negligent homicide. If she doesn’t have the presence of mind to distinguish a wii controller from a gun, she has no business being armed and dangerous. She seems much too skittish to trust with a gun.

  8. A very sad story. When you militarize the police, this is the kind of unfortunate response you get from an officer. There are and were other ways to handle that situation. I realize this officer wasn’t looking to kill a teenager, but if all he had was the wii controller, she and her department should pay a price.
    It doesn’t matter what sex the officer was. That was a very sexist and degrading statement. If you have been awake the last ten years, as stated earlier by leejcaroll, there have been scores of these kind of shootings done by men as well as women officers.

  9. This seems to happen or at least posted about twice a week. How many times does it happen where it doesn’t get posted? How many lesser than death incidents, posted or not?

    This speaks to the calibre of the officer. In far too many places people who should not be in the police or are not getting enough training are in the wrong place. This female officer was obviously poorly trained or did not have the constitution or IQ necessary for the job.

    If this is a result of limited funding, then we are getting what we pay for.

    The other issue is what happens to these people when they fail so completely. From what I hear, they are reinstated. Again, something is deficient here.

    Accidents happen but they can be reduced with proper training and screening of candidates.

    When an officer does something like this, they should stop being a police officer.

    Where is the common sense?

  10. You can’t un-ring a bell. There is absolutely no excuse for this level of incompetence. She should be summarily fired and immediately arrested for manslaughter. The parents should sue the police department for everything it is worth.

    She can save her tears for the next 20 years in prison. Just another idiot with a gun.

  11. ” In defense of the officers, a probation violation can be one of the more dangerous assignments though it is not clear whether the father was wanted on a violent crime.”

    No, there is no defense for this. The police were, or should have been, prepared for a proper response to anyone answering the door.
    Another life snuffed out, because our populace is tolerating the inanity and criminal incompetence of the police in this country.

    What about the the refrain that police have used for people holding a cellphone.
    They have claimed that cellphone are weapons. Now if they starting acting on those claims by shooting people, might it then be considered indefensible?

  12. There have been far too many shooting by the police. They are suppose to be well trained to handle these high stress situation, but clearly they aren’t. This was a young man with a highly promising future, whoes live was taken from him way too soon. It is goes to prove these officers are not fit for duty if they can’t tell a wii controler from a gun. They should fired ASAP!!!

  13. This seems like a clear case of cognitive priming gone awry. Officers need to train themselves for the possibility that they may be met with armed resistance. But they must also be explicitly reminded that they may be met by an unarmed person holding a non-lethal object. If they are cognitively primed only to deal with worst-case scenarios, they will be closed to consider actions that pertain to anomalous non-threatening cases.

  14. Based on the number of shooting of Citizens by police officers around the country, close to epidemic, perhaps it is time to take the guns away from the idiots running the asylum. I bet we would see a very server attitude adjustment from both our Politicians and Judges if that happened and a reestablishment of individual rights. Both England and Australia once prohibited their police/boobies from carrying guns and low and behold their was less gun violence. Perhaps we are focusing gun control on the wrong people. Of course this is written with tongue and check, as the politicians and Judges would never allow themselves to go unprotected without armed gunman.

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