A Spring Valley woman who was shot in the left side of her chest by a San Diego County sheriff's deputy, says that "she got no warning," before the deputy pulled the trigger.
Jennifer Orey, told 10News on Wednesday, that she walked out of the front door of her La Presa home on Aug. 19 at about 10:30 p.m. because she thought she heard someone outside her house.
Seeing no one, but noticing only a flashlight, she called out to the person in her yard, asking who they were and saying that she was the homeowner. She then told 10News that is when the deputy “slid out of her gate that leads to her backyard with his gun at his chest.”
“He said nothing,” Orey told the interviewer. ”I was expecting 'freeze, who are you' or something and I was really surprised that there was nothing and then the gunshot went off.”
She added, “I remember the muzzle flash, the smoke, everything went in slow motion. I remember seeing the puff of black smoke, the fireball and I remember thinking, 'Oh God, please don't let this hurt anything important.'”
Initial reports state that a pair of deputies were responding to a call of a man in a ski mask prowling the neighborhood, specifically Orey's yard, when she was shot on Aug. 19. There was no suspect found at the scene. The deputy who fired the shot has since . He has been placed on administrative leave until after the investigation is completed, when it will be determined if he can return to work.
The bullet that Berhalter fired struck Orey in the left breast and and passed through her left arm.
“I just recall after I was shot, the deputy that shot me apologized to me and I asked them while I was still trying to come to grips with it… I was still kind of standing. I asked, 'Why was your weapon drawn? Why were you in my yard?'” Orey told 10News.
She did not get a response, except that Berhalter reportedly apologized to her.
“He just said, 'I'm sorry, ma'am. You startled me,'” she said.
As Orey was getting treatment for the gunshot wound, her ex-husband Carl pulled up to the house. A former San Diego police officer, 10News says Carl described the way his ex-wife was treated as “a travesty.”
“After she was shot, she put her hand on this deputy's shoulder for her balance and he said, 'Take your hand off of me,'” Carl Orey told 10News. “She was fingerprinted. I think she was treated unprofessionally. I am appalled at the way she was treated and the fact that my daughter and I were left with no knowledge of her condition at all.”
According to the report, Orey plans on hiring a lawyer and filing a tort claim against the San Diego County Sheriff's Department. Her claim will ask that the department claim responsibility and liability for the incident, and will also ask that the department pay for her medical bills and a punitive amount to cover the physical and emotional pain and suffering.