Police apologize for mistakenly telling mom officers had killed her son

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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Washington police apologized to a woman this week after the department mistakenly told her that her son had been killed in a gunfight with officers.

Police came to Karen Robinson’s home about 2 a.m. on Christmas morning to notify her that officers had been forced to kill her adult son Raymond. Officers asked Karen to see a picture of Raymond, and then confirmed that he was the armed robbery suspect who had attacked officers trying to arrest him.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she told NBC Washington. “They said, ‘Well, he shot at police, and police returned fire on him.’ And I’m like, ‘No. That’s not my child.'”

Robinson was devastated. But later on Christmas Day, she received a call from her son — who was very much alive.

“He says, ‘Merry Christmas, Mom,’ and I said, ‘Who is this?'” she said. “He said, ‘Mom, this is Raymond.’ I said, ‘Boy, they said you died!'”

A short time later, police called and asked Robinson to come identify her son’s “body.” It was then that police realized their mistake, NBC Washington reported. The dead suspect was actually another black man, 33-year-old Gregory Marcus Gray. Raymond Robinson is not thought to have any connection to Gray.

Police “received a tip” that the dead man was Raymond Robinson and decided to contact his family before officially identifying the body, according to the AP.

In a statement, police said that “proper protocol was not followed” in the case.

Read more at NBC Washington.