Sheriff: Man killed in officer involved shooting was armed in back of his residence

SHEILA A. MATHEWS :::

A Spalding County man, Guy Lynn Scott Jr., age 48, was shot and killed at his residence Wednesday night by a deputy of the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office.

Scott was previously employed by Spalding County, having worked between the Correctional Institution and the Detention Center from approximately 1991 to 2000. He had most recently been employed in the construction industry.

 

According to Sheriff Darrell Dix, deputies were at the Collier Drive residence upon the request of a welfare check.

“Last night about 8:50 p.m., the dispatch center received a call from a third party wanting a welfare check at a residence on Collier Drive, on the north side of Griffin off of Birdie Road. The deputies responded to the call,” Dix said. “They walked up the driveway. When they went into the backyard, they saw a guy walk towards the house. They called out to him as he walked on to the house. They walked on up into the back yard and when they got to the back porch – like right outside the back door – the guy came out of the door with a pistol in his hand and pointed it at one of the deputies. The deputy drew his weapon and fired twice. Both rounds struck the guy and he was pronounced dead at the scene by the coroner.”

The officer involved shooting was documented on video recording.

“It was all recorded on body camera. I’ve watched the video multiple times and all indications are that the deputy responded to the actions that were taken by the suspect,” Dix said. “It unfolded so fast – they were literally within feet of each other when it happened – and the deputy didn’t have any choice.”

Dix said the deputy has received training in crisis intervention – how to de-escalate situations – but stated there was not time to utilize that training.

“There was not any opportunity at all to de-escalate. Like I said, as soon as the guy came out the door of the house, he had a gun in his hand and pointed it at the deputy, and the deputy shot him,” Dix said.

When asked if the video indicates the deputy identified himself as a law enforcement officer, Dix said, “No. It happened so fast that there was really….You hear the deputy say something like, ‘Sir,’ or something like that, and then as he turns his body, you can see the guy standing there with a gun like between his hip and midway up his chest pointing at the deputy, and the deputy fires the shots.”

Dix said he does not believe Scott was unaware the two deputies were law enforcement officers.

“They were both in marked cars – Spalding County Sheriff’s Office marked cars – they were both in uniform – full uniform, they were both carrying flashlights, so there was enough light that they both could have been identified as deputy sheriffs,” he said.

Dix said the shooting occurred directly outside the residence’s back door in a patio area.

“With the light from the flashlights of both the deputies, it was very well-illuminated by their flashlights,” he said.

Asked if there was any other lighting in the area of the shooting, Dix said, “I don’t recall. I know that there were a couple of motion activated or outdoor lights, but I would hate to tell you wrong. What they (the deputies) were doing is when they were walking up the driveway and when they were coming into the back of the house, they were not just pointing the flashlights at the house; they were scanning around, and some of the ambient light there would have been able to light them up with all the brass on their uniforms. Plus, the fact that this guy used to be a county employee in the Detention Division out here. I’m pretty sure that he would have recognized immediately that these guys were deputies.”

He then reiterated how quickly the shooting occurred.

“But there was not even enough time to call out anything. Like I said, I think the officer who fired the shot said, “Sir,” or something like that, and then it was on. It was boom, boom.”

When questioned as to whether he believes Scott could have perceived the deputies as intruders, Dix said. “I don’t think so,” before later adding, “It would be hard for me to say yay or nay whether the guy thought they were intruders. Most of the time, people that are doing that, people that are doing that aren’t going to walk up in your backyard with flashlights and openly talking. It’s not like they were sneaking around. They were talking to each other while they were walking.”

He also described the scene from his personal perspective.

“I walked up in that backyard up there to where the actual scene was, and I could see good enough to kind of move around and everything up there,” Dix said.

Asked why the deputies went to the backyard of the residence rather than the front door, Dix said, “I don’t know if they had been to the house before. That’s something that will come out during the investigation, I’m sure, when we run a call history or the GBI runs a call history, but like I said, I don’t know if they had been there before and knew to go to the back door, or it could have been the fact that when they saw the guy walking in the backyard – walking across – that that’s where he went to, so that’s where they went to, because they were initially walking up the sidewalk. They saw him, or saw somebody, in the backyard and called out to him, and the guy walked toward the house, so more than likely, they went to where they saw the guy walk to.”

Dix said the video does show the deputy’s perspective of Scott.

“When he came out the door, according to the video, he turns, has the weapon in his hand and his weapon is pointed at the deputy. It’s like between waist level and mid-chest. It’s not locked out – punched out – like in a classic shooting stance, but it’s pointed – it appears to be pointed at the deputy when he fired the shots,” Dix said.

The deputy involved has not been identified, but Dix did say he has been with the Sheriff’s Office since 2014. He worked first as a detention officer until attending the Police Academy, from which he graduated in 2016. The deputy transferred to the Uniform Patrol Division in March 2017, when he began a 12-week Field Training Observation program, which was completed in June 2017.

The deputy has been patrolling for approximately three months.

“He’s a good employee. A very young guy. Absolutely devastated by what happened, and it’s very obvious on the video how devastated he is. The video is hard to watch all the way around. I would challenge anybody to watch that video and tell me he’s a cold-blooded killer or he’s out hunting people to shoot and stuff like that. He was very emotional at the time. The video is hard to watch all the way around,” Dix said. “We’re going to get him some counseling and we’re going to send him to make sure there are no issues with him psychologically. We’re going to make sure that he’s cleared investigatively, psychologically and medically before he will return to work. He is on paid administrative leave right now, which is absolutely normal. It appears right now to me that the officer reacted to an aggressive action by the suspect and responded in the only way that he could.”

Dix does anticipate releasing the deputy’s body worn camera footage of this incident upon completion of the GBI investigation.

“It was literally in the blink of an eye – the guy was in front of him with a gun pointed at him. Everyone who has seen the video, the first thing every one of them has said is, ‘Wow, that was fast.’ So, it really is quick,” Dix said. “You know, if somebody was to ask is there anything else this deputy could have done? Yeah, there’s something else he could have done. He could have stood there and got shot.”

Advertisements

Comments

  1. Sheila, I encourage you to speak with his parents.. He had just returned from Taco Bell with food and drink still in the bag in kitchen. He, nor his family were expecting the Sheriff’s office or anyone at their home. They broke thru the security gate, sounded driveway alarm and went to the back part of residence with flashlights. After a few burglaries at their home, I’m sure he felt threatened.

    • I’m absolutely willing to speak to his family. I haven’t attempted to make contact yet because it would be horribly intrusive of me to do so at this time. Please pass along that they may contact me any time at 770.713.5839.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: