Suffering from Alzheimer's, Ga. man fatally shot

Suffering from Alzheimer's, Ga. man fatally shot

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By RAY HENRY
Associated Press

CHICKAMAUGA (AP) - The last walk that Ronald Westbrook took started around 1 a.m. He slipped unnoticed from his North Georgia home with his two dogs.

It ended three hours later when the 72-year-old Westbrook, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease, knocked on a stranger's door.

Police say a man inside that home, 34-year-old Joe Hendrix, got a .40-caliber handgun, went outside to investigate and shot Westbrook in a horrible mistake.

It was an unlikely collision between two strangers, one of them deeply confused and another who perceived a threat in the dark. It shows the difficulties that caregivers face in keeping loved ones with Alzheimer's safe and the consequences of miscalculation in a state that celebrates its gun culture.

 

AP reporter Kate Brumback contributed to this report from Atlanta.

Follow Ray Henry on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rhenryAP.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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