This story actually happened very recently, but here's how it was told to me some time ago.
Officer Janet Bennett was a very respected individual in her community. She had it all... a nice house, a loving husband, five wonderful children, a good job, lots of friends. What more could a woman want?
One summer night, a horrible mistake on her part took all that away...
The Bennett family was asleep late that night when Officer Bennett woke up and heard clattering sounds and footsteps coming from downstairs. Knowing that it wasn't her husband or any of her children, she assumed that it was a burglar. Grabbing her gun, she went downstairs into the living room and saw a person emerging from the kitchen. The room was pitch-black, illuminated only by moonlight, so she couldn't make out any details. Without a moment of hesitation, she, acting on instinct, fired three times at the person and they fell, dead before they even hit the floor.
Turning on the light, Officer Bennett was horrified when she saw who the intruder really was...
It was her 15-year-old son...
Her son, Daniel, had been spending the night at his girlfriend's house, but discovered her cheating on him, so he dumped her, took a walk to calm his nerves, and then went home. Because his cell phone was completely dead and the doors were locked, he had to climb in through the open basement window. The clattering sounds were him knocking into things in the darkness of the basement.
He didn't even see his mother, nor did he even register the thought of being shot before the third and final bullet struck him in the head, killing him instantly.
The distraught and guilt-stricken Officer Bennett immediately turned herself in, telling her superiors that she just fired without hesitation and didn't even say, "Who are you?" or "Identify yourself."
Officer Bennett's trigger-happy finger not only killed her eldest child, but it also killed her marriage, her police career, and got her 7 years in prison for manslaughter.
A week into her sentence, she committed suicide.