Lee Co officer cleared in shooting - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co officer cleared in shooting

LT. James Vick LT. James Vick
Patrick Eidson Patrick Eidson
Tracy Clyde Tracy Clyde

A Leesburg Police Captain, who shot and killed a suspect, will return to work this week. Authorities say the shooting was justified, but the victim's mother still has unanswered questions. 

Leesburg Police Captain Monterey Moody's patrol car will soon be back on the streets.

"He is very eager to get back to work. He loves his job as a police officer, what he gets to do, helping in the community. He's been sitting at home for 5 months," said LT. James Vick with the Leesburg Police Department.

Five months ago Captain Moody shot and killed 42 year-old Tracy Clyde who was on the run from police, wanted for a violent robbery. Authorities say Moody found Clyde in a vacant house. Then the two men got into a fight which led to the shooting.

"He [Clyde] was reaching, trying to pull on the officer's gun. Of course it has a locking mechanism, it's much harder to try to retrieve a gun from the front, it has to pull back and up for safety purposes. And within moments of his life, had to do the ultimate thing to save his life," said Patrick Eidson, Moody's attorney.

"If they wrong, they're wrong, but still, Moody didn't have to shoot him." Tracy Clyde's mother, Annie, says her son may have been in the wrong, but he didn't have to die.

"He could of shot him in the leg or in the arm. Because he shot him in the arm, he didn't have to shoot him in the chest. He could of bit him, don't kill him," said Annie Clyde.

The GBI conducted the investigation, which was reviewed by the Lee County District Attorney's office.

Authorities say evidence shows the shooting was justified.

"As a department we're all glad that the investigation is over with. We're able to move forward after this incident, along with the fact that the community can heal from it," said LT. Vick.

But Clyde doesn't feel any closure.  "I don't hate him, but I don't like what he did. He could of called back up, but he didn't," said Clyde.

Clyde still believes the shooting was racially motivated.

Moody is still suffering from injuries in the fight and is expected to begin light duty this week.

"In the fight he was bit three times. Twice to the back of the head and then also to his thumb. And suffered a torn rotator cuff, which he had to have surgery to repair. He's been doing physical therapy two to three times a week, so he's still keeping up with therapy. He has regained motion in his arm, it's just a long healing process," said LT. Vick.

Moody was also evaluated and cleared by a psychologist.

After the initial shooting in October officials were put on high alert after they saw more violence. Authorities say someone shot a Lee County Sheriff's Office car, narrowly missing the deputy inside.

"At this point in time we have not heard of anything coming from the community as far as negativity. It was an unfortunate incident that happened. Any time somebody in law enforcement has to take the life of another it's a traumatic event for the department and the community," said LT. Vick.


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