Suspect whose shooting provoked Sunday outbreak dies

Family and friends of Justin Leonard Elmore gather during a candlelight vigil organized at the site of Sunday's altercation near the Cherry Tree Crossing housing complex.
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 7:15 PM
Last updated 10:56 PM
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The man shot by police Sunday at a local public housing complex died tonight.

Justin Leonard Elmore was taken off life support by his family, according to a cousin who was at Medical College of Georgia Hospital when he passed away. Brenda Givens said the family made the decision after doctors determined he was brain dead.

“Everybody is having a hard time with it,” she said between sobs during a phone call from the hospital.

Ms. Givens said the family continues to believe the shooting was uncalled for.

“It ain't right,” she said. “This was some wrong stuff that happened.”

News of Mr. Elmore's death spread quickly and a candlelight vigil was organized at the site of Sunday's altercation near the Cherry Tree Crossing housing complex.

Police said Mr. Elmore was shot Sunday afternoon when he tried to drive his SUV over deputies attempting to stop him on suspected drug charges. The incident at Carver Drive and 15th Street brought up to 200 people into the street, and many began throwing rocks and bottles at police and setting trash in dumpsters afire.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Tuesday it has a police car video of the incident but won't make it public until it concludes its investigation into the shooting.

GBI Special Agent Gary Nicholson said the video is considered evidence in the investigation of the deputies to determine if they were justified in shooting Mr. Elmore.

“We have looked at them in detail,” Agent Nicholson said. “We cannot release them but they have been entered as evidence in this case and as such they are not available for public record at this point in the investigation.”

On Monday, Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said the video appears to show that his officers, Jose Rivera Ortiz and Michael Hodge, acted appropriately in shooting a man who tried to ram Deputy Ortiz with his SUV. Agent Nicholson said he has watched video from both deputies' patrol cars and that they “accurately show what happened.”

This comes as deputies dealt with another night of violence in Augusta's Cherry Tree Crossing housing project. On Monday night, a deputy's patrol car was hit with a bullet. The incident appeared isolated, however, and police said the area has been generally quiet since Sunday when an angry crowd of as many as 200 lobbed rocks and bottles at police following the shooting of a 23-year-old fleeing drug suspect.

According to sheriff's reports, Cpl. Charles Benson was patrolling in the 1600 block of McCauley Street at 11:30 p.m. when he heard five or six gunshots. The deputy then heard a thump in the rear of his vehicle where a bullet struck the license plate, the report said.

The Sheriff's Office along with Georgia State Patrol troopers, increased their presence in the area

The two deputies have been placed on administrative duty pending a GBI review of the case.

Anyone with who witnessed the incident is asked to call the GBI at (706) 595-2575.

Comments (189) Add comment
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aucnews
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aucnews 12/16/08 - 07:22 pm
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RIP Jed. Super Shine Car

RIP Jed.

Super Shine Car Care

godbeeaug
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godbeeaug 12/16/08 - 07:31 pm
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We as a community must work

We as a community must work to prevent this from happening again!

Signal Always
3
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Signal Always 12/16/08 - 07:40 pm
0
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iletuknow
8
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iletuknow 12/16/08 - 08:10 pm
0
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Plenty more to take his

Plenty more to take his place.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 12/16/08 - 08:10 pm
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I'm sorry for his family's

I'm sorry for his family's loss and will pray for his soul.

duggant
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duggant 12/16/08 - 08:14 pm
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very sad situation did not

very sad situation did not have to be this type of life never leads to anything good, i will pray for the suspects family and all of those who are misled by this type of lifestyle no joy in this it's very sad.

Nammy
2
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Nammy 12/16/08 - 08:18 pm
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I'm sorry to his family and

I'm sorry to his family and friends. Yep, you win pths--I'm sorry the cops had to do this too. lol

PTHS225
1
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PTHS225 12/16/08 - 08:25 pm
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I'm only sorry for the

I'm only sorry for the deputies that had to do it.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 12/16/08 - 08:25 pm
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Well, expect riots here to

Well, expect riots here to rival that of what's going on in the world's drama capital, Greece.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 12/16/08 - 08:27 pm
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Show the video to the public,

Show the video to the public, Sheriff Strength! Now, not later!

KSL
144506
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KSL 12/16/08 - 08:39 pm
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I'm sorry he chose the

I'm sorry he chose the behavior that he did.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 12/16/08 - 08:40 pm
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iletuknow: What a true

iletuknow: What a true statement!

KSL
144506
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KSL 12/16/08 - 08:41 pm
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willis, it's out of his hands

willis, it's out of his hands and in the hands of the GBI.

KSL
144506
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KSL 12/16/08 - 08:42 pm
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baroness, this is a bit

baroness, this is a bit harsh, but where was his family when he was choosing his lifestyle?

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 12/16/08 - 08:45 pm
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kathysueloudermilk: Well,

kathysueloudermilk: Well, from her interview, we know the mother of his children supported his lifestyle!

KSL
144506
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KSL 12/16/08 - 08:46 pm
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Must have been hard for her

Must have been hard for her that he was not supposed to be on site.

El Guapo
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El Guapo 12/16/08 - 08:47 pm
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Probably doing some of the

Probably doing some of the drugs he supplied.

justthefacts
25475
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justthefacts 12/16/08 - 08:47 pm
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It is all part of a vicious

It is all part of a vicious cycle that appears unbreakable. He has children who will grow up thinking their father was murdered by cops. The cycle will most probably continue with them due to their anger and then fact that they will never be able to break out of the public housing scene. Lots of blame to spread around for this situation. Wish someone had the answer. Sad.

willistontownsc
55
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willistontownsc 12/16/08 - 08:47 pm
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The Cherry Hill people were

The Cherry Hill people were only 51 hours off.

KSL
144506
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KSL 12/16/08 - 08:48 pm
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He was a habitual car thief.

He was a habitual car thief. Wonder how many he stole?

KSL
144506
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KSL 12/16/08 - 08:50 pm
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51 very expensive hours.

51 very expensive hours.

caringcitizen
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caringcitizen 12/16/08 - 08:51 pm
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Don't break the stinking law.

Don't break the stinking law. I feel bad for the family members, but what exactly does one think will happen when you try to run over police officers with an automobile?

KSL
144506
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KSL 12/16/08 - 08:55 pm
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I only feel bad for them if

I only feel bad for them if they tried to change his behavior without results.

fred1217
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fred1217 12/16/08 - 08:56 pm
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I don't know what's more

I don't know what's more distasteful or classless. Some of the comments above or the Augusta Chronicle for allowing comments on this particular story.

YellowHammer
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YellowHammer 12/16/08 - 08:58 pm
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Fasten your seatbelts folks.

Fasten your seatbelts folks.

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 12/16/08 - 08:59 pm
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http://www.scanaugusta.net

http://www.scanaugusta.net has the current RCSO radio traffic from CTX.

FallingLeaves
27
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FallingLeaves 12/16/08 - 09:00 pm
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I simply don't know what

I simply don't know what Justin Elmore's family situation was. Most people have family and whether they were good role models or not, they will still mourn his loss if they have any soul at all. God does not like to lose any soul and wants all souls to come to Him. Only God knows this young man's whole story from inside his heart, mind and soul. We are only on the outside looking in at bits and pieces of his life. There are very few men that have not done some good in their lives. I am very concerned about the effect his death will have on the community in the emotional, rumor-driven state we are in now. We need to pray for peace and truth in our community.

Scottskart
19
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Scottskart 12/16/08 - 09:02 pm
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As a wife of a deputy down

As a wife of a deputy down there tonight, you have no idea how sickening this feeling is....

No_Longer_Amazed
5146
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No_Longer_Amazed 12/16/08 - 09:05 pm
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A Wife of A Deputy: Your

A Wife of A Deputy: Your husband and the rest of the RCSO deputies have my support. Thank you all for protecting us!

stevensmith
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stevensmith 12/16/08 - 09:05 pm
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My prayers go out to Mr

My prayers go out to Mr Elmores' family and I pray that god will strenghten their hearts! It is awful that Mr Elmore had to be killed and I am sure with all the police that are surrounding the public housing complex tonight,(over 30 cars are there tonight) back up could have been called to resolve the matter on Sunday night. The police are trained to handle situations in a more professional/safe manner than the way they handle it on Sunday. It does not matter that Mr Elmore had a criminal records he was still a human and somebody child. The police that patrol the public housing projects do have to keep the area safe but it is a known fact that they do use excessive aggression in the lower income areas. There's not a neighborhood anywhere that does not have someone on its street that has done something wrong but in the lower income neighborhoods it is blown up. I noticed on the (channel 12) news last night that they held up Mr Elmore's arrest records and we have had murders, rapest and not one time has their records ever been shown for the record Obstruction to a police does not necessary mean you fought the police it could mean something as small as not cooperatingGOD HELP US

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