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GBI tests bullet in suspect’s death

Coroner identifies man

POSTED: July 24, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Ballistics tests will determine whether a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent or a Lumpkin County sheriff’s deputy fired the shot that killed a bank robbery suspect who pointed a fake gun at officers Friday in Helen, a GBI spokesman said.

Danny Ray Queen, 44, died from a single gunshot wound to the abdomen, White County Coroner Ricky Barrett said Saturday.

Queen, who was staying with his mother in Helen, was a suspect in Thursday’s armed robbery of the Mountain State Bank near downtown Dahlonega. White and Lumpkin county sheriff’s officials were joined by a GBI agent Friday afternoon as they prepared to arrest Queen at a house near downtown Helen.

Queen fled from his home on foot, then turned and pointed what appeared to be a Smith & Wesson handgun at officers, according to Bankhead. Queen ignored repeated commands to drop the weapon, and the GBI agent and Lumpkin County deputy opened fire, Bankhead said. An autopsy found that only one bullet struck Queen.

Ballistics tests will be conducted next week to determine the shooter, Bankhead said.

Authorities have not released the names of the officers involved in the shooting.

The GBI, as a matter of routine, investigates most officer-related shootings in Georgia. When a GBI agent is involved in a shooting, a regional office that the agent is not affiliated with investigates, Bankhead said. Because the agent works out of the Region 8 office in Cleveland, the Region 11 office in Athens will investigate, Bankhead said.

According to policy, a report on the shooting will be given to White County District Attorney Stan Gunter, who will make the final determination as to whether it was justified.

Authorities have openly speculated that Queen may have committed "suicide by cop" because of his refusal to drop the replica gun.

Efforts to reach Queen’s family, who did not have a listed phone number in Helen, were unsuccessful Saturday.

Queen was identified as a suspect in the bank robbery after surveillance photos publicized by area news media resulted in tips to law enforcement. Several bank tellers identified Queen as the robber in a photo lineup, authorities said.

Authorities are uncertain whether the weapon Queen wielded during the robbery was the same replica he pointed at officers.



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