New information on fatal police shooting - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New information on fatal police shooting

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Sarah Riggins was shot twice by Officer Eric Strom on the porch of a home on West Gordon Avenue.

Riggins' family members say they've been told very little about the shooting that killed Sarah Riggins and they've got a lot of questions.

Monday they were back in the neighborhood passing out these fliers asking anyone for information. Monday, the GBI told us after talking with witnesses they have little doubt what happened.

Family members went door to door telling neighbors along West Gordon Avenue to speak now or forever hold their peace. They're asking anyone who might have witnessed Sarah Riggins fatal confrontation with police to come forward.

"We're the family and we still don't know, we don't have any answers we just found out today from seeing her, that it's actually her," said Chiqiata Elder, Sara Riggins' Niece.

Sarah Riggins boyfriend Eddie Anderson called police after he found the safety lock for his .357 magnum but Riggins wouldn't tell him where the gun was. Investigators say it was in her hand as she stepped onto Anderson's porch along with his 17 and 20-year-old grandchildren.

"When the police officer stepped out of his car, she came out of the house holding the gun and the knife and numerous neighbors said they heard the officer holler, put your hands, up, put your hands up," said GBI-Sylvester Special Agent in Charge Mike Lewis.

Investigators say Riggins fired a shot and Officer Strom returned fire.

"One gazed her jaw, one struck her in the neck, one it looks like hit her pants, but didn't hit her, one round was in the house," said Lewis.

Riggins' son says that's out of character for his mother.

"My momma wouldn't just come out the door and risk her life," said Eugene Riggins.

GBI agents say it wasn't the first time police were called to the home, and now they're pulling the records to check the calls along with Riggins mental health records.

While this investigation continues, so far the GBI says they've found nothing wrong with the officers reaction to the situation.

Officer Eric Strom remains on administrative leave while the investigation is ongoing. Albany Police won't say how long Officer Strom's been on the force.

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