LEESBURG, Ga. (WALB) - A GBI investigation is underway after a Leesburg police officer shot a man to death Sunday.
Neighbors who said they witnessed it, are speaking out for the first time.
Neighbors said Rodney Morrison, 47, ran out of the mobile home and into a field.
GBI agents said he threatened Lee County deputies with a knife, who were there to serve him court papers.
His friends said they saw an officer shoot him in this field, right past a mound of mulch.
Now, they said they’ve been left with more questions than answers.
“He had a clear escape out the backdoor,” William Federle, a neighbor and friend, said. “They chased him through this field and shot him.”
Federle said he saw his friend of six years run from his house in the Lake View Mobile Home Park on Linden Road in Leesburg.
That’s when Federle said the exchange turned deadly.
“Our friend is dead and there’s nothing that can bring him back at this point,” said Federle.
GBI agents said Morrison died at the hospital.
“He might not have even seen the police coming at him. He saw the demons he’s been seeing for years and years and hearing the voices he’s been hearing for years and years,” Federle said.
Federle showed WALB a website Morrison created to help him cope with his mental illness, called “schizophreniacoping.org.”
“Everybody has the right to go home to their significant others at the end of the day, and I understand that, but there needs to be some type of training done, some type of lesson and schooling done to handle people in his situation,” Federle said.
When asked for a comment, Leesburg Police Department Chief Christopher Prokesh could only say this during the ongoing officer-involved shooting investigation: “The only comment I can give is that one of our officers was involved in an incident. I called the GBI to conduct an external investigation and until their investigation is complete, I’ll have to refer everything to them.”
While waiting for answers, Federle is mourning the loss of his friend.
“Somebody lost a son, somebody lost a brother,” said Federle.
GBI said this is still an ongoing investigation.
Because of this, they said they aren’t releasing body camera footage yet.
WALB is working to find out more about the court documents that were served.