Updated 09/11/2007 09:25 AM
Police release more details in accidental shooting
ALBANY, N.Y. -- It started as a routine job for an Albany drug task force, but it ended in a bizarre scene. Three officers went to a Berne home to confiscate a large collection of marijuana plants, but they were surprised by the owner and his angry dog.
The animal attacked one investigator, and another officer was forced to fire off two shots at the dog. One of those bullets traveled through the dog and into the hand of 40-year-old Albany police officer Jeffrey Connery.
"He had his hand behind the dog's neck and he rolled over the flesh of the back of the neck of the dog. The shot was fired, went through the flesh section and out of the flesh section and into the body of the dog," said Albany County Sheriff James Campbell.
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Police addressed questions about the investigation, like why the officer who fired shots used his colleague's gun. They say he didn't have his own gun because he was carrying equipment to deal with the difficult terrain.
"He was carrying two machetes. He was clearing the brush and doing a lot of the grunt work," said County Drug Inspector John Burke.
Another question surrounds the arrest of the suspect, 38-year-old Kevin O'Reilly. The officers tied him up with shoelace because they didn't carry handcuffs into the field either. O'Reilly escaped the shoelace restraints and ran away before being caught. Again, police say this was protocol for a drug task force.
"They're taught and instructed never to wear your handcuffs in the field because of the noise the handcuffs make. You've got to remember, out there in the hill towns, if you're a half a mile away you can hear a tree limb break," said Campbell.
The Albany County Sheriff's Office and the Albany Police Department stand by the decisions the task force made in the field, but they did say they are reviewing the details from the crime scene to see if any changs need to be made. As for Detective Connery. He is in good condition, recovering after undergoing surgery on his hand.