tragic case of mistaken identity?
What a tragic situation.
It just points out that you need to pay attention to your environment, and know what kind of vehicles and uniforms the cops have where YOU live . . .
A tip to the unaware or unfamiliar in dealing with the police: first of all, know who the police are! Know the difference between the city police, the county sheriff's department and the state troopers. They have slightly different but overlapping jurisdictions. Their cars are probably painted differently and they probably have different colored uniforms. Know who your primary service provider is! If you live near the border of your jurisdiction, know what the uniforms and the squad cars of the neighboring town look like. That isn't too hard -- just pay attention when driving around on your normal business, and then remember what you see. Neighboring jurisdictions back each other up all the time, and if one agency gets tied up on a major incident, the department next door may end up being primary responders to calls in your town. It happens all the time, and it is NOT evidence of a particular emergency nor of a government conspiracy . . .
You can only learn from experience if you pay attention!