Houston DA: Rawls' Shooting by Police Was Justified

7:49 PM, Mar 28, 2013   |    comments
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Anthony Rawls


Houston County's District Attorney says the fatal March 10 shooting of a Warner Robins man by police was justified.

Police Chief Brett Evans today released the report by District Attorney George Hartwig and also his own statement on the shooting of Anthony Rawls.

The report says five officers fired shots at Rawls, who had a gun and was threatening his wife and the officers.

The shooting happened around 8 p.m. that night outside Rawls' home at 106 Huntwood Lane. Police responded to a reported domestic fight between Rawls and his wife.

Hartwig wrote, "It is clear that Anthony George Rawls intended to kill his wife Michelle if and when police arrive,d was armed with a .380 handgun, failed to comply with requests to walk toward the street with hands up, and filed to comply with orders from officers on scene. Instead he raised the gun in a threatening manner toward his wife -- she actually grabbed his arm to keep from being shot.

"Rawls fired a total of eight (8) rounds at, or in the immediate vicinity of, his wife and several Warner Robins officers."

One of the shots fired by Rawls apparently grazed Sgt. Mike Fennell, removing a button on his rear pants pocket, Hartwig's report says.

Lt. Don Edwards rushed toward Rawls to prevent him from shooting his wife, according to the report.

Fennell, Edwards and three other officers fired a total of 16 shots, according to the report.

The other three are Sgt. Tim Gray, Officer Juan Garcia and Officer Casey Mullins.

Hartwig completed his report Tuesday after reading the GBI's case file on the shooting. He said he does not plan to bring any charges against the five or take the case to a grand jury.

Evans' statement offered prayers and sympathy for the Rawls, but said he stands with his officers.

"They were protecting the lives of those at the residence as well as their own that night. Anthony Rawls posed a significant threat to his wife, Michelle, and to all the officers present," Evans wrote.

Evans says all five officers have been released from administrative leave and returned to work.

Rawls' sister Miranda Solomon says the family hasn't fully read Evans' or Hartwig's statements yet, but they do not plan to take any further action at this time.

She says, "Once we look over it, if the family is fine with it, we're fine with it. We have no hard feelings, because police were called, so they were doing their job. No one deserves to die, but we don't know the circumstances. We weren't there."

Solomon told 13WMAZ she has spoken with Rawls' wife since the shooting, but would not discuss her description of what happened that night.

Houston Co. DA George Hartwig Statement

 

Chief Evans Statement on Rawls Shooting

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