A U.S. District Court Judge ruled Hall County Sheriff’s Office deputies acted accordingly in a shooting following a June 2017 home invasion, according to court documents.
Three Hall County residents filed a lawsuit in 2017 alleging excessive force by two Hall County Sheriff’s Office sergeants. Jennifer Harris claimed she and her son suffered nerve damage as a result from the gunfire.
Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh decided not to bring charges against the deputies, saying it was justified.
“As an initial matter, the court concludes that defendants were acting pursuant to their discretionary authority as law enforcement officers when the events at issue occurred,” according to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Story’s order filed March 12.
Harris claimed she attempted to speed away from the police, believing them to be the robbers who she said entered her home.
The sergeants denied this in their response, claiming Harris “sped her vehicle toward” them.
Harris previously told The Times that she, her fiance Stewart McIntosh and family members were at her Campbell Road home around 11:30 p.m. June 15, 2017, when she heard a knock on the door. Two men with concealed faces entered with guns, taking her cellphone and $10, she said.
Seven people piled into an Audi passenger car, and Harris tried to get to a neighbor’s house when she was “blinded by bright flashlights and the barrel of a gun coming toward her,” according to the lawsuit
Harris claimed her son was hit two times, resulting in bullet fragments in his hand as well as scarring. The suit also claims Justin Castillo, 18, was hit in the back.
“Accordingly, when defendants shot at the car they had probable cause to believe it was being driven by the burglars, that they were attempting to flee the scene, and that both of them were armed — one with an AK-47. It was further reasonable, then to believe that the individuals in the car posed a threat to the public,” according to Story’s order.
Story granted the sergeants’ motion for summary and dismissed Harris’ claims.