PINE BLUFF, Ark. (KTHV) - A case of mistaken identity landed one Pine Bluff police officer in the hospital on Friday. He was mistakenly shot by another Pine Bluff officer.
Around 5 a.m. on Friday, one officer was doing a regular business check behind several Camden Road businesses. He came across a door at Tobacco Outlet that police have called "unsecure."
"He opened the back door, when he opened the back door he saw a silhouette pointing a gun at him and discharged his firearm," said Pine Bluff Training Officer, David DeFoor.
But that silhouette wasn't a criminal, it was another officer.
"There were two officers inside the store and they were doing surveillance for the break-ins that we've had," said Patricia Weatherly, Tobacco Outlet Store Manager.
Weatherly said someone had been unscrewing paneling in the back of the store and entering through the insulation. The two officers inside of the store had left the back door unlocked in an attempt to catch the returning thief. Then she got a call this morning.
"I assumed that they had captured the people that had been breaking in for the last month and a half," Weatherly said.
Many concerned community members have asked - how does something like this happen?
"I feel like both of them were doing their job in the right way, they just surprised each other," Weatherly said.
"From my understanding, it was very fast," DeFoor said. And exactly what was said between the two of them, I don't know."
The officer who fired his gun has been with PBPD for 12 years. When he realized his mistake, he notified police. He is now on paid administrative leave as the investigation continues.
Pine Bluff Police won't release the names of the officers involved until the investigation is complete.
They still need to review the store's security footage to get full details on what happened.