ALBANY, GA (WALB) – It was a justifiable police shooting and the officers are being called Heroes. That's the word following the shooting of a gunman during a robbery hostage situation yesterday in Albany.
The District Attorney says it appears the officers were heroic, saving the hostage and capturing the two armed robbers.
We have learned that one of the robbers had a toy plastic gun, but the other robber was armed with a real shotgun, which was sawed-off.
Two APD officers were in the parking lot outside the Family Dollar on West Gordon Avenue, and were waiting when the robbers came out the front door-- dragging a female store employee as a hostage.
Police say 20-year-old Christopher Raines is in the hospital, recovering from a gunshot wound. 20-year-old Randell Harris is in the Dougherty County jail charged with armed robbery and kidnapping.
Investigators say the two wore bandanas over their faces when they robbed the Family Dollar, stealing money first from the cash register and then from the store safe.
Albany Police Officers McKinley Windom and Christopher Hutcherson were in the parking lot.
"I think they were actually working an accident in the Harvey's parking lot, when a citizen drove up and told them that there was a robbery going on down at the dollar store," said GBI Special Agent in Charge Mike Lewis.
The two officers were outside the front door when Harris and Raines came out, dragging 25 year old employee Jamaica Jones as a hostage.
"One had the store employee in front of him as he exited the store, with a shotgun that he alternately pointed at her and at police," Lewis said.
Investigators say Officer Hutcherson shot Raines once in the groin when he pointed the shotgun at the other officer. Despite being shot, Raines and Harris took off running with the hostage.
The robbers released the hostage and dropped their guns and some of the money as they ran.
Officers caught the two robbers about 200 yards from the store.
"I think on the whole the officers acted heroically in this particular situation, from what I have learned so far," said Dougherty District Attorney Greg Edwards.
Jones was unhurt, but was taken to the hospital for a precautionary checkup.
GBI Investigators say there were almost a dozen witnesses to the police shooting, and they should complete their investigation in a couple of days. Albany Police continue their investigation into the armed robbery.