Fredericksburg Man Killed in Bed After Celebrating 25th Birthday

A Virginia man who had just celebrated his 25th birthday with friends was found dead Saturday morning, killed when bullets were fired into the Fredericksburg apartment where he slept.

Investigators say the victim, Tesean Dorsey, was not the intended target.

Now, other residents who called police about the shooting are questioning the police response, because the victim wasn't found until the second time police went to the scene.

On Friday night, Dorsey, a father of two, gathered with friends at an apartment in the Fall Hill complex to celebrate his birthday. But Dorsey had to work the next morning and at some point, went to bed.

Around 4:20 a.m. Saturday, neighbors were startled by gunshots and called 911.

"It was so loud to the point that I hit the floor. It scared me that bad," said Valerie Freeman-Pratt. "My husband was sleeping and it woke him up. I said, 'Somebody is shooting. Somebody is shooting in here'."

Police arrived and discovered two bullet holes piercing the siding of Apt. 302.

Fredericksburg Police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said authorities knocked on the door and spoke to the couple who rents the unit.

"The two individuals on the lease came to the door, spoke to the officer and assured him that everyone was OK, that they didn't even believe the bullets had even come through the wall, and all was fine," Bledsoe said. "They did not tell the officer there were other individuals inside the apartment at that time, nor did they invite officer in to check."

But around 8 a.m., police received another call from neighbors, who had found a shell casing on the stairway. As the officer took the evidence to his car, the residents of Apt. 302 came out with disturbing news: Dorsey, their housemate, was dead, killed from a single gunshot to the head while he slept.

Fredericksburg police initially thought the shooting might have been random, but they now say the shooting was targeted -- but Dorsey was not the intended victim. Police aren't saying who the target was.

"It now appears that although the victim was not the intended target, we do know there was an intended target and this was an intentional shooting aimed at one particular individual," Bledsoe said.

Neighbors are critical of the police response, wondering why more wasn't done to investigate during the first visit to the scene.

Freeman-Pratt said police spent a lot of time asking for identification from her and her husband before going upstairs.

"If they had done everything right the first time, they might have could have saved that young man if somebody went in that building," Freeman-Pratt said.

The police department spokeswoman says it's unlikely, with a gunshot wound to the back of the head, that Dorsey could have been saved. Bledsoe said that because officers were told by the apartment's occupants that everything was all right, they had no reason to go inside.

"We had the assurance of two leaseholders that everything was fine, no one was injured and they weren't involved or weren't aware shots were fired," she said. "At that time we did not have enough to go in against their wishes."

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