Fatal South GA deputy-involved shooting ruled justified

Fatal South GA deputy-involved shooting ruled justified
Herbert Gilbert (Source: Family)
Herbert Gilbert (Source: Family)

THOMAS CO., GA (WALB) - A Thomas County Grand Jury has ruled a fatal deputy-involved shooting justified.

Herbert Gilbert died in August of 2017 after being shot while Thomas County Drug Agents attempted to serve a search warrant on Magnolia Street in Thomasville.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said that Josh Smith was the deputy that fired the fatal shot during that incident.

According to the presentment from the grand jury, agents were attempting to search Gilbert's home when Gilbert got into his vehicle and tried to leave.

Agents used their vehicles to try to keep Gilbert from driving away.

Other agents approaching from the house approached the vehicle with weapons drawn ordering Gilbert to stop.

Court documents go on to say that Agent Smith was between Gilbert's vehicle and another. As Gilbert drove the vehicle in his direction, Smith fired rounds in an attempt to stop Gilbert.

He fired seven rounds into the windshield and the eighth round into the passenger window as the car passed him.

"Under the facts of the case, when he rammed into the police car, that gave them the basis to arrest him, it just got to where he was trying to get out and put an officer in danger and the officer had to shoot to protect himself or other," explained District Attorney Brad Shealy.

EMS was immediately called, and Gilbert was not placed in handcuffs because of his wounds.

The presentment said that Gilbert was found with marijuana and $883 in his pocket and a set of scales in his vehicle.

The grand jury decided that the use of force was justified and no criminal action would be taken against Smith.

Gilbert's death sparked several days of protest, including one organized by the Greater Atlanta Black Lives Matter Group.

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