Man Wounded as Officer Mistakes Keys for Handgun

From United Press International

Police shot and wounded a man early Saturday after mistaking the metallic flash of keys in his hand for a gun, authorities said.

Officers were dispatched to a home in the 600 block of W. 97th St. after neighbors reported gunshots about 4:20 a.m., Sgt. Sid Nuckles said. Matthew Bates, 30, walked out from behind the house when officers arrived. Not knowing if Bates was the reported gunman, police ordered him to raise his hands and lie down on the driveway, Nuckles said.

As Bates squatted on the asphalt with his hands over his head, his right hand quickly dropped to his ankle. Officer James Hagerty, 32, saw a metallic flash and thought Bates had grabbed a gun from an ankle holster.

Hagerty fired one shot, grazing Bates in the left thigh. Investigators discovered that Bates had not grabbed a gun but was carrying a set of keys in his hand when he was shot, Nuckles said.


Bates was not arrested. Paramedics took him to Daniel Freeman Memorial Hospital, where he was listed in satisfactory condition.