Deputies shot and killed a man inside his Georgia home last month following an apparently bogus tip they received from a confessed meth addict and thief.
East Dublin resident David Hooks, 59, was killed because, according to Laurens County Sheriff Bill Harrell, he aggressively brandished a gun at the SWAT team that broke in his back door. But Mitchell Shook, a lawyer for Hooks' widow, contends that the sheriff has misled the public about the shooting and raid, which turned up no drugs.
The sheriff's office obtained a search warrant based on a tip from a thief who claimed he had found 20 grams of methamphetamine inside a bag he stole from a vehicle at Hooks' home, Georgia station WMAZ reports. According to the warrant, Rodney Garrett claimed that he thought the bag was filled with cash but that he later discovered it contained meth. Garrett said that he then turned himself into the sheriff's office because the drugs made him fear for his safety.
Garrett, a known drug abuser, also stole a second vehicle, a SUV, from the Hooks home.
The word of a thief shouldn't have been enough to obtain the warrant, Shook told the Macon Telegraph.
He also disputes assertions that the sheriff's office has made about Hooks' killing.
Sheriff's deputies raided the home without identifying themselves, Shook said, contrary to their claims that they told Hooks they were officers with a search warrant. The sheriff's office had also said they fired at Hooks for aggressively pointing a gun at them near the back door, but Shook alleges that the deputies blindly shot at Hooks through a wall without knowing who was there.
When Hooks' wife saw men in dark clothing heading for their home at 11 p.m. on Sept. 24, she woke up her husband and told him that the thieves who had stolen their SUV were back. Hooks grabbed a gun and headed to the door, according to Shook.
Deputies shot more than 16 times, Shook said in a statement.
Authorities searched Hooks' home for 44 hours, but found no drugs, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Hooks' family says that he didn't use drugs or sell them. They say he ran a successful construction company.
The Laurens County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which reviews all officer shootings, didn't respond to HuffPost's inquiries. Calls to Shook were not answered either.