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Probe into March shooting wraps up

Deputy won’t face charges

POSTED: June 20, 2014 12:05 a.m.
 

NORTH FORSYTH — No criminal action will be taken in a fatal shooting involving Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputy in March.

Forsyth County District Attorney Penny Penn notified the sheriff’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation on Tuesday that she would not be launching a case against a county deputy who shot and killed Kenny Roger Drake.

“If it appeared from the results of the investigation that there was a basis for criminal charges, I would have pursued it like any other criminal case,” Penn said. “But there didn’t appear to be that basis.

“I reviewed the file and am not going to take any action on it.”

Penn looked over the investigations conducted by both the internal affairs department of the local sheriff’s office, as well as the GBI regarding the March 17 incident.

The internal affairs investigation said Deputy First Class William O’Haire used “objectively reasonable deadly force to protect himself,” from an armed man, later identified as Drake.

O’Haire, Deputy Andrew Cheek and Sgt. Thomas Moore had entered a home on Nicholson Road in northwest Forsyth after responding to a 911 call advising there was a “man with a gun pointing it at people in the residence,” according to the internal investigation report filed by Sgt. Gregg Boyer.

“The deputies believed there were people in the residence who were in need of immediate aid due to the report,” Boyer said.

The deputies knocked and identified themselves several times. When there was no response, they entered the home to “protect the people inside.”

The investigation found “no violations of the Fourth Amendment occurred” when the three deputies made entry.

Once inside, the deputies made their way to a bedroom, where Drake was in his bed, holding a revolver. Various knives and boxes of ammunition were on and around the bed, according to the report.

O’Haire made several unsuccessful attempts to get Drake to let go of the gun, at which point the report states Drake then “began to move his gun toward DFC O’Haire.”

“O’Haire was in fear of receiving great bodily injury or death when he observed Mr. Drake moving his gun in his direction,” the report said.

In an interview with the GBI, O’Haire said he fired only “when I saw that barrel at me.”

“I wasn’t going to let him shoot me first,” he told investigators. “Once the barrel was not pointed at me, I stopped.”

The autopsy showed six bullet wounds.

Several people were in the home at the time of the shooting, with their accounts indicating Drake had been drinking alcohol all day and threatening them and his wife, who had left in an effort to diffuse the situation.

One witness, who locked herself, her daughter and grandson in her room to protect them, said Drake was “constantly making threats of blowing up the house ... as well as blowing everyone’s brains out.”

Drake had a previous run-in with law enforcement in April 2013 when he was sentenced for driving under the influence after striking the back of a county school bus.

 

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