Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Deputy Shoots Woman While Looking for Suspect

Jennifer Orey. Family photo.

A San Diego county sheriff’s deputy shot a decorated Navy vet in her backyard while searching for a suspicious person in the area Sunday. According to Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Larry Nesbit, deputies had responded to an area Leigh Avenue in Spring Valley to investigate reports of a man wearing a ski mask. By the time they arrived, deputies determined that the man had left the area heading east, and began scanning the surrounding area. According to Nesbit, a number of deputies entered the backyard of Jennifer Orey, 36, a retired Navy rescue swimmer. ”At some point, while in the backyard of the residence, there was contact between the deputies, who had their weapons drawn, and a female resident of the home,” said Nesbit. “During that contact, one of the deputies fired from his service weapon. The female was struck in the arm by the round.” The deputy who fired his weapon was identified as Luke Berhalter. According to Jim Morgan, Orey’s brother, after the shooting ”the cop said, ‘Well, I’m sorry, you startled me.’”

Orey was released from the hospital after two days of treatment. Berhalter, who’s been with the department for under two years, has been placed on administrative leave. ”I told them I’m really pissed off. I’m pissed off as hell. A cop could have very easily killed my daughter,” said Orey’s father, Dennis Morgan, in an interview with News 10.

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