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Suffering from Alzheimer’s, Ga. man fatally shot

December 7, 2013 • National News


The house where Ronald Westbrook was mistakingly killed by homeowner Joe Hendrix, is seen, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013, in Chickamauga, Ga. The last walk that Westbrook took began as early as 1 a.m. when he slipped unnoticed from his North Georgia home with his two dogs. It ended three hours later when Westbrook, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, knocked in the dark on a stranger’s door. 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. The unlikely collision between two strangers, one deeply confused, another likely startled in the dark, illustrates both 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 Photo/David Goldman)

CHICKAMAUGA, Ga. (AP) — The last walk that Ronald Westbrook took began as early as 1 a.m. when he slipped unnoticed from his North Georgia home with his two dogs.

It ended three hours later when Westbrook, a 72-year-old who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, knocked in the dark on a stranger’s door last month. Police said 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.

The unlikely collision between two strangers — one deeply confused, another perceiving a threat — illustrates both 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.

Westbrook’s widow struggles to comprehend how she lost her husband of 51 years and discussed Login to read more

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