After a suspect pointed a gun at a police officer this year and had his arm broken, District Attorney Danny Craig suggested the suspect should be happy to be alive.
That's why there is little doubt among law enforcement experts that Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Dan Carrier Jr. will be cleared in the fatal shooting of a boarding home resident who shot him, authorities said.
Sheriff Ronnie Strength asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the officer's actions to avoid the appearance of impropriety. But he said he sees nothing wrong with anyone killing someone who points a gun at them.
Investigator Carrier shot Benny Bauknight three times after being struck in the leg by a .22-caliber bullet, Sheriff Strength said.
"It's not even in the ballpark of excessive," the sheriff said. "He has the right to defend himself. It's the same as a citizen."
The GBI's findings will be forwarded to Mr. Craig's office. But the prosecutor has made it clear in the past that anyone who presents a deadly threat to an officer or civilian can be shot.
Dan Carrier Jr.: Officer hopes to return to duty Monday after a probe into Friday's fatal shooting is completed.
Four months ago, Mr. Craig refused to prosecute a 90-year-old retired doctor who fatally shot an intruder in his Augusta home. The intruder didn't have a gun, but he had pushed Dr. Gilbert Klemann to the ground and lunged at him with a large jar in his hands.
In September, Deputy Paul Kervin was cleared of charges that he used excessive force in a Sept. 20 traffic stop. After stopping Laterrio Collins, the deputy said, the suspect took a gun from his waistband and pointed it at him. The deputy broke Mr. Collins' arm and used pepper spray, leading to complaints from the suspect's family.
Mr. Craig released a statement suggesting that the officer could have killed Mr. Collins and been justified.
Investigator Carrier hopes to return to work Monday. He is on paid leave pending an internal investigation by the sheriff's office.
The GBI inquiry will likely take longer as agents wait for autopsy results, GBI Agent Mike Seigler said.
Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or email@example.com.