ROBERT MEDLEY AND MICHAEL KIMBAL
YUKON - The retired firefighter who was shot and killed Tuesday as he barged into a Piedmont police officer's home may have been hallucinating and confused, his son said.
Devin Nemecek, 47, was killed about 8 a.m. as he pushed into the Yukon home of Jack Neumann, 37, and attacked him, Yukon police spokeswoman Klare Ly said. Neumann lives at 317 Sunrise Drive, and Nemecek lived a few houses down at 409 Sunrise Drive.
Neumann returned home from work as a Piedmont police officer to find Nemecek banging on his back door and trying to get inside, Ly said. Neumann told him to leave several times as the man barged into the house, and Neumann shot him.
Nemecek was holding a piece of metal and struck Neumann several times, Ly said.
Nemecek used an oxygen tank because of lung and heart damage from injuries suffered while fighting a fire two years ago, his son said.
Garrett Nemecek, 23, of Oklahoma City, said his father sometimes had hallucinations when his oxygen levels were low, and likely thought he was trying to enter his own home when the incident occurred.
"Last night he was having some trouble with his breathing treatments," Garrett Nemecek said. "Once his oxygen gets down to a certain level, he just doesn't know where he's at. He doesn't know his name. ... He would not be himself at all."
Nemecek said his father would never harm anyone under normal circumstances and was an upstanding member of the community who will be missed by his family and friends.
The family is working to set up a memorial of some kind to remember Devin Nemecek.
Garrett Nemecek said he didn't know why his father was outside Tuesday morning, but he had been doing yard work Monday evening and could have been doing more yard work Tuesday.
Neumann told investigators his wife and children, ages 3 and 4, were inside the home at the time of the shooting, Ly said. She said Neumann did not know Nemecek.
"As you can imagine, someone banging on the door trying to get in who is incoherent, you can understand they would be scared," Ly said.
Police release frantic 911 call
A frantic woman's voice can be heard on a 911 call released Tuesday by police. The woman was crying as she told a 911 operator a man with a crowbar was trying to break into her house.
"Shoot him," the woman yelled during the call, apparently to Neumann. A man's voice can be heard shortly thereafter yelling, "Get back!" before a gunshot rang out.
Piedmont Police Chief Jerry Koester said Neumann will be on paid administrative leave until the district attorney rules on the shooting. He described him as an "exemplary" officer who feared for the safety of his wife and two small children.
None of the officer's family members were injured.
"They are obviously shaken up and scared," Ly said.
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April 20, 2011