Georgia Man Killed in Drug Raid Was Face Down When Shot in Head, Says Family's Lawyer
David Hooks, the Georgia man killed in a SWAT raid on his East Dublin home in September, was shot in the head and back while face down on the ground, according to his family's attorney, Mitchell Shook, who cited EMS and hospital records as evidence.
As reported by WMEZ-TV:
"One was to the side of the head, the other, was in his back, the back of his left shoulder, based on the evidence we see, we believe that David Hooks was face down on the ground when he received those last two shots," says Shook.
Shook says they have not received the autopsy yet from the GBI.
As noted by Reason's Ed Krayewski, the raid was based on a tip from Rodney Garrett, a local meth addict who had just stolen a car from Hooks' property. According to the warrant, Garrett told police he removed a bag from the stolen vehicle believing it held cash, but instead discovered it was filled with meth. Apparently fearful he just robbed a local drug kingpin, he turned himself in because he "became scared for his safety."
The theft of one of their vehicles naturally made the Hooks household edgy that night, and David kept a shotgun in the house. Though the warrant did not contain a "no knock" provision, Hooks' wife, Teresa, says that the Laurens Country sheriff's deputies and their SWAT compatriots simply busted down their back door and charged in, guns blazing.
In an interview with WMEZ-TV, Hooks recalls the night her husband was killed:
"Between 10:30 and 11, I turned the light off upstairs. I heard a car coming up the driveway really fast, and I looked up the upstairs window. I saw a black vehicle with no lights. I saw 6 to 8 men, coming around the side of my house, and I panicked. I came running downstairs, yelling for David to wake up. He was in the bedroom asleep, had been for about an hour and a half. When I got downstairs to the bottom of the stairs, he opened the door and he had a gun in his hand, and he said, 'Who is it?,' and I said I didn't know. He stepped back into the bedroom like he was going to grab his pants, but before he could do that, the door was busted down. He came around me, in the hall, into the den, and I was gonna come behind him, but before I could step into the den the shots were fired, and it was over."
According to Shook, the Hooks' home was searched for more than 44 hours with no drugs or contraband found. But as the Drug War Chronicle reported:
Investigators also claimed they were familiar with the address from a 2009 investigation in which a suspect claimed he had supplied ounces of meth to Hooks, who resold it. Nothing apparently ever came of that investigation, but the five-year-old uncorroborated tip made it into the search warrant application.
The toxic combination of a "five year-old uncorroborated tip," a vague accusation from a confessed car thief and meth addict, and a recently robbed man reacting to a violent intrusion on his home created the conditions that led to the 17 shots fired by law enforcement that night.
In a statement that is becoming all too familiar, Shook said he hopes the Laurens County District Attorney will take the case to a grand jury and not solely rely on law enforcement's take of the deadly raid.