WARNER ROBINS, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The Houston County District Attorney announced on Thursday, no charges will be filed against the officers involved in the shooting death of a Warner Robins man earlier this month.
In a statement, Houston County District Attorney George Hartwig called the shooting of Anthony Rawls justified because he posed "an immediate threat of physical violence to the officers or others".
On March 10, officers were dispatched to a home on Huntwood Lane in reference to a domestic dispute. According to authorities, Rawls had a gun and was threatening to kill his wife and officers.
In a letter to Warner Robins Police Chief Brett Evans, Hartwig wrote:
"It is clear that Anthony George Rawls threatened to kill his wife Michelle if and when police arrived, was armed with a .380 handgun, failed to comply with requests to walk toward the street with hands up, and failed to comply with orders from officers on-scene. Instead, he raised the gun in a threatening manner toward his wife—she actually grabbed his arm to keep from being shot. Rawls fired a total of eight rounds at, or in the immediate vicinity of, his wife and several Warner Robins officers."
According to Hartwig's report, one of the rounds grazed Sgt. Mike Fennell on his left side. Lt. Don Edwards and several other officers wrestled Rawls off of the porch and away from his wife. Hartwig stated that once Rawls began to fire his handgun, shots were exchanged. Rawls was struck by multiple gunshots and died from his wounds.
Evans spoke with the Rawls family and officers on Thursday. In a letter he wrote:
"We continue to keep the Rawls family in our thoughts and prayers as losing someone under any circumstance is always a tragedy."