A Georgia man was killed by police executing a search warrant obtained after a car thief told police he stole methamphetamine from the dead man’s vehicle, media reports say.
According to WMAZ in Macon, the car thief broke into a pickup truck in Laurens County, near Dublin, and stole some items on the night of Sept. 22 or the predawn hours of Sept. 23.
The thief then stole an SUV from the home, a Lincoln Aviator, and drove to Dublin, according to police.
The homeowner, David Hooks, a 59-year-old grandfather and businessman, reported the missing SUV.
At about 3:45 p.m. on Sept. 24, police arrested Rodney Garrett, who admitted stealing the SUV and said the 20 grams of meth police found on him were not his, but had been stolen from Hooks’ pickup truck.
Would police believe such a story?
Apparently so, because at 10 p.m. the same day Laurens deputies got a non-attorney deputy magistrate to sign off on a search warrant, according to Mitchell Shook, the attorney representing the Hooks family.
An hour after getting the search warrant, Shook said David Hooks’ wife saw camouflaged men in her yard with guns and told her husband.
David Hooks’ final act was to arm himself with a shotgun.
“The [deputies] broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered, firing an excessive sixteen shots. There is no evidence that David Hooks ever fired a weapon,” said Shook, who also says the warrant did not have a “no-knock” clause and therefore required law enforcement to identify themselves.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting but said it would make no comment until the investigation is complete, says The Macon Telegraph.
The sheriff’s department also refuses comment.
Police searched the home for 44 hours and found no drugs, says Shook, who says the “true facts of this tragedy are in stark contrast to … reports released by law enforcement.”
Shook told the Macon Telegraph that Hooks owns a construction company that does work on military bases and has passed background checks by state and federal authorities.
“This is not a person who needs to be involved in criminal activity for financial gain. He did very well financially,” Shook said.