Fatal Laurens County shooting victim’s wife files federal lawsuit
DUBLIN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The wife of a Dublin man who was shot and killed by Laurens County Sheriff’s deputies in September 2014 has filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit.
Teresa Hooks claims there wasn’t enough evidence for deputies to search her house. David Hooks was shot and killed during the raid.
Last June, a grand jury found there wasn’t enough evidence to file criminal charges in the case.
The complaint claims Rodney Garrett stole guns and a Lincoln Aviator car from the Hooks’ home on September 23. Garrett was arrested and charged with burglary the following day.
Garrett was a self-confessed meth addict and had approximately 20 grams of meth and scales in his possession at the time of his arrest, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit alleges Garrett told Laurens County Sheriff’s deputies he took those items from a truck at the Hooks’ property when he committed the burglary.
The Hooks’ Family attorney writes “neither Brewer nor any other officer of the Laurens County Sheriff’s Department ever corroborated Garrett’s claim that the meth and scales of which he had possession and control of had originated from Hooks’ property.”
The lawsuit also mentions Sheriff Bill Harrell as a defendant. It claims Sheriff Harrell “harbored personal resentment against [David Hooks] and, upon learning of the Garrett allegations, sought to find a way to seize [David Hooks’] assets through improper and unconstitutional means.”
Laurens County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Brewer used Garrett’s information about stealing the meth and scales from the Hooks’ property to get a search warrant, according to the lawsuit.
Hooks’ attorney claims a Special Response Team was called to execute the search warrant at 11 p.m on September 24 and officers knew David Hooks was known to legally possess multiple firearms.
“Numerous less intrusive means, other than those utilized, should have been employed in this situation, but were not,” writes the attorney.
The lawsuit says the officers “failed to properly execute a knock and announce warrant when Deputy Tyler Jackson prematurely breached the rear door of the [residence]” and other deputies follow “indiscriminately firing their weapons through the floor, walls and ceiling of the home.”
Deputies fired 23 shots inside the home and Hooks was hit 3 times, according to the lawsuit. The attorney claims Hooks was “conscious for several hours, suffering excruciating pain and anguish from the gunshot wounds” and his last words were “help me.”
Hooks’ wife is asking for money to compensate for her suffering as well as Hooks’ medical and funeral expenses. She also wants the case to have a trial by jury.