A Georgia family is in shock following the death of their 17-year-old son, who was accidentally killed by a police officer who believed the video game controller he was holding was a gun, according to the family’s lawyer.
Christopher Roupe of Euharlee, Georgia heard a knock at the door of the family’s home last Friday night. Upon opening the door, he was immediately shot by a female police officer.
Roupe was pronounced dead upon arrival at a local hospital.
The officer broke down it tears upon realizing her mistake, according to The New York Daily News.
She had been making a probation-related visit to the home. She thought Roupe was holding a gun, according to a statement from the police department.
Cole Law, the family’s attorney, said he believes that the officer did mistake Roupe’s video game controller for a weapon. Roupe was holding a remote controller for the Nintendo Wii when he opened the door, according to Law.
Standard-issue Wii controllers are white cylinders, but specialty controllers shaped like guns do exist. It is not yet known what type of controller Roupe possessed. (RELATED: Update: Texas teen faces 8 years in prison over Facebook comment)
Neighbors confirmed that Roupe had a Wii controller, not a gun, according to Law.
“The eyewitnesses on the scene clearly state that he had a Wii controller in his hand,” said Law, according to WSB-TV. “He heard a knock at the door. He asked who it was, there was no response so he opened the door and upon opening the door he was immediately shot in the chest.”
Roupe had plans to enlist in the Marines after finishing high school. He was involved in the ROTC program at his high school.
The officer has been placed on administrative leave while the police department investigates the matter. The family will likely file suit against the department.