Mistake Led Officers to Believe One of Their Own Was Shot

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In the small town of Oakdale, news that an officer had been shot Tuesday night spread like wildfire.

About 100 officers from several agencies came to help, but an officer was never shot.

“I never heard that,” said dispatcher John Richards.

Richards was training the dispatcher who took the call. He says she never heard that an officer was shot either.

Regardless of whether an officer had actually been shot, Richards says the response was appropriate.

“It is just the fact that he shot at an officer or anyone. Shooting guns in our city we don’t take that lightly,” said Richards.

Officers say the two suspects went running in opposite directions when they were spotted by police.

An officer chased one of them to a set of railroad tracks near Gilbert Avenue. When the suspect began shooting at him, that is when he radioed for help.

How that call morphed into an officer being shot is still under investigation.

“Just the fact that you say shots fired over the air tends to tense people up,” said Richards.

Roads were blocked for nearly four hours, frustrating residents trying to get home.

Dispatchers could take 6 months to a year to train in Oakdale. Richards says the dispatcher who answered had only been on the job a few months, but she passed this test with flying colors.

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