A photograph of Macon Police Officer Clayton Sutton after the fatal shooting of Sammie Davis, Jr. (Photo: Macon Circuit DA's Office)
Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke say a fatal shooting by a police officer was justified.
In a 15-minute news conference, Cooke explained the decision not to charge Macon police officer Clayton Sutton in the Dec. 21 fatal shooting of Sammie Davis Jr.
VIEW: Facts About Clayton Sutton Case
The GBI last month turned over its case file on the case to Cooke last month to decide if any crime was committed.
But today, he said, "The shooting, while tragic, was justified."
He said Sutton was in reasonable fear of his life.
"It would be wrong to press criminal charges against this officer" who feared for his life and others, he said.
Cooke said that on Dec. 21: Sutton responded to a 911 call from a woman frightened by Davis in the Kroger parking lot.
He said Davis assaulted Sutton when he tried to question him.
He said Davis was cutting Sutton on the neck with his fingernail, but Sutton believed he had a knife.
Sutton shot "a 6-2 265-pound mentally ill man who he believed was slicing open his neck," said Cooke.
He said Sutton fired three shots.
The nearest eyewitness to the case backed up Sutton's account, he said.
He said he spoke to Davis's sister this morning to explain his decision: "I think she understands."
Cooke said his heart goes out to the Davis family, and he asked people to pray for them.
He said Davis "had a history of untreated mental illness" and "a history of violence in (Kroger) parking lot." He cited a 2010 incident where Davis allegedly assaulted a store manager.
Cooke also said the facts of the case are dramatically different from those reported by the media. Macon police have declined to explain or comment on the shooting. Police spokeswoman Jami Gaudet could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
DA Cooke Release About Clearing Officer Sutton