The family of a burglary suspect who was fatally shot while breaking into a Fulton County, Georgia, home says that the officer's shooting was unjustified — and now they're looking for donations.
What are the details?
The incident took place on Saturday when the unnamed deputy received a notification on his phone that someone was trying to enter his home.
The suspect, identified as 59-year-old Bobby Lee Sutton, was said to be breaking into the deputy's home after having reportedly kicked in the door.
The deputy, who was on his way home after his shift, received the notification from his doorbell camera that a man was breaking into his home.
When he arrived at home — still wearing his uniform and equipment — he reportedly discovered the suspect leaving the premises with a load of tools and other household items, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement on the incident.
The deputy — who was driving his personal vehicle, according to reports — began following the suspect down a gravel road.
The suspect was said to have rushed off into the woods as the deputy approached him, and so the deputy followed.
Investigators said that a confrontation ensued while the two were in the woods, and the deputy ended up discharging his duty pistol, striking the suspect.
Atlanta police were dispatched to the scene and found the deputy performing CPR on the suspect.
The suspect was taken to a nearby hospital, but died from his wounds.
According to reports, authorities discovered the deputy's personal property in the woods.
Sutton's family now says that the officer was not justified in shooting their loved one.
“You get out of your car, you follow him in a wooded area, and you shoot him down like he’s nobody – like he has no family or nothing,” Sutton's niece, Montanique Sutton, said. “That’s not fair! That’s not justice.”
She added that Sutton was an "all-around good person."
“To know him is to love him. He was no stranger to anybody,” she said.
At the time of this reporting, a GoFundMe page to benefit the family has received just $5 in donations.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation.
It is unknown at the time of this reporting whether the officer will face criminal charges in connection with the fatal shooting.
(H/T: The Police Tribune)