Crawford County Officer Involved Use of Force Investigation

March 15, 2015

Roberta, GA - The GBI has been requested to investigate a use of force incident in Crawford County.  Initial information received about the incident is that on Saturday, March 14, at approximately 7:34 PM the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from the clerk at the Racers Gas station located at the corner of Olive Grove Church Road and Highway 80 in Crawford County.  The clerk said a man was at the store causing a disturbance.  A Crawford County Deputy was dispatched to the gas station and arrived at approximately 7:53 PM.  Upon arrival, the deputy was confronted by a white man identified as Rickey Eugene Smithey, Jr., 31.  The deputy attempted to calm Smithey who was acting in an agitated fashion to no avail.  The deputy noticed Smithey had a semiautomatic pistol.  During the confrontation, which lasted several minutes, Smithey pulled the pistol out of his front pocket a couple of times and then would place the pistol back in his pocket.  The deputy told Smithey to keep his hand off the pistol.  Smithey did not comply and the deputy deployed his Taser but the probes did not strike Smithey.  At this point Smithey fled on foot from the store and ran to his residence, located next to the gas station.  During the foot chase Smithey dropped his pistol.  The deputy called for backup because Smithey was able to reach his residence and was now inside the house.  Two Crawford County deputies responded to the scene.  The first arrived at approximately 8:20 PM and the second deputy arrived at approximately 8:28 PM.  Upon their arrival, Smithey fled from his residence and took a position in a field located behind his house.  The deputies provided verbal commands for Smithey to surrender.  During the verbal exchange Smithey began firing multiple shots towards the deputies, striking one of the deputies in the shoulder.  All three deputies returned fire, striking Smithey twice.  The injured deputy and Smithey were transported to the Medical Center for treatment.

Crawford County Sheriff Lewis Walker contacted the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and requested them to investigate the use of force incident.  The GBI responded with three special agents, two crime scene specialist, and two supervisors arriving on scene at approximately 9:45 PM.

The GBI will conduct a complete and thorough investigation to determine what occurred. When the investigation is complete it will be turned over to the district attorney.



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Contact Information: 
SAC JT Ricketson 478/987-4545