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Deputy cleared in Putnam man's fatal shooting | News

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Deputy cleared in Putnam man's fatal shooting

A Putnam County deputy was justified in fatally shooting a man who threw a knife at officers, according to District Attorney Fred Bright.

Bright sent a letter to the GBI Monday saying he reviewed the GBI's investigation and found no grounds to prosecute Deputy Justin Brock.

"The actions of Deputy Brock on the night in question appear to be completely statutorily justified. In fact, all of the officers at the scene showed great restraint."

On May 27, Brock shot and killed Harry Davis, age 57.

At the time, Sheriff Howard Sills said it happened after a man riding in a car with Davis and Davis' son called the sheriff's office for help. He said the two other men were drunk and arguing.

The sheriff said deputies stopped the car on Oconee Springs Road near Highway 16 and separated Davis and his son.

Davis then threw a knife at one of the deputies, went back to his car and got a larger knife.

Bright says Davis then charged aggressively at the deputies with a large, "military-style" knife as they shouted at him to stop and drop the knife. He said Brock fired two shots at Davis from about 10 feet away.

On Tuesday, Bright said his ruling on the shooting "wasn't a close call. If it was a close call, I would have sent it to a grand jury."

Bright said he and others involved in the case met with several members of Davis' family on Friday. In May, some family members had questioned Sills' account of the shooting.

"I know they came in upset...and when they left, they hugged us and said they understood," said Bright.

Sills described Davis as a disabled veteran with a history of emotional problems. He said the shooting may be a case of "suicide by cop."


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