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Police release waffle house fight/shooting video and 911 call

CCTV with 911 call to police,February 06/09:Surveillance video and the 911 call from the police shooting death of a Fort Valley man at a Waffle House in Warner Robins. A Houston County grand jury ruled Tuesday that the officers were justified in the use of deadly force.

This upload contains two angles of the incident.



WARNER ROBINS,As he was told by a Warner Robins police officer to drop his gun, a Fort Valley man raised the gun in the direction of a crowd of more than 50 people outside the Waffle House at 1287 S. Houston Lake Road and was shot and killed by Warner Robins police, Police Chief Brett Evans said at a news conference this afternoon.

Those details as well as others of the Feb. 6 fatal police shooting were released for the first time at the news conference.

Reginald Bernard Smith, 27, died in the restaurant parking lot after he was shot eight times by Warner Robins police officers Jesse Mettendorf, 24, and Eric Hunley, 23, who had responded to a large fight at the restaurant at 2:18 a.m.

“The investigation determined that at the time of the incident, Reginald Bernard Smith was committing the offense of aggravated assault and Officer Mettendorf and Hunley followed the department’s general orders concerning the use of deadly force, which was compatible with the laws of Georgia,” Evans said.

The internal police investigation found that the officers were justified in the use of deadly force because they believed the crowd in the parking lot was in imminent danger from the gun-wielding Smith. A Houston County grand jury and District Attorney Kelly Burke concurred with those findings. Also, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation found the Warner Robins criminal investigative report substantiated the use of deadly force.

At the news conference at the police department at 800 S. Young Ave., Evans released surveillance video of the fight inside the Waffle House with a voice overlay of the 911 call from a restaurant waitress who stayed on the phone with a 911 operator as the situation escalated.

Smith, who stood about 6 feet 2 inches and weighed about 350 pounds according to autopsy findings, Evans said, can be seen leaving the restaurant and returning. The waitress told the 911 operator that a man had a gun and described Smith as captured on the video. Evans pointed Smith out on the video as it was played at the news conference.

“Oh my God! We need somebody here right now ... Oh my God. Oh my God. Oh my God,” the audibly shaken waitress told the 911 operator.

The fight moved outside and shots are heard on the 911 tape, with the operator telling the waitress that officers are on scene. The restaurant did not have surveillance cameras outside, Evans said.

Witnesses told police, Evans said, that Smith had fired two shots into the air as police rounded the corner from the back of the restaurant. Smith was ordered to put down his gun as Mettendorf opened fire, Evans said. Mettendorf fired five times and Hunley fired six times, the chief said.

Of the eight gunshot wounds Smith received, a wound to his inner right arm was consistent with his arm being raised at the time the wound was inflicted based on the autopsy, Evans said.

Also, Smith’s blood alcohol level was .48 — six times the legal driving limit of .08, Evans noted.

Meanwhile, three people were charged with misdemeanor affray by Warner Robins police from the incident: Tony Delonzo Rice, 36, of Fort Valley; Jeson Damil Johnson, 23, of Warner Robins; and Thomas Mark Anthony Golphin, 27 of Fort Valley.

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Added: Feb-25-2009 Occurred On: Feb-6-2009
By: jdischord
In:
News
Tags: Police, release, waffle, house, fight/shooting, video, and, 911, call
Location: Warner Robins, Georgia, United States (load item map)
Marked as: featured
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