Grand jury continues to review deputies' shooting of suspect

Tuesday, May 5, 2009 2:07 PM
Last updated 2:23 PM
  • Follow Latest News

A Richmond County grand jury continues to review the evidence this afternoon involving two sheriff’s deputies who fatally shot a suspect last December when they said he tried to run over one of them with his SUV at an Augusta housing complex.

Back | Next
Elmore  Special
Special
Elmore

Grand jurors are behind closed doors, but are said to be hearing testimony and reviewing police videotapes of the incident involving Deputies Jose Rivera Ortiz and Michael Hodge.

The shooting of Justin Elmore provoked several days of unrest in mid-December as hundreds in and around the Cherry Tree Crossing public housing complex off 15th Street shouted, marched and even threw bottles in protest.

The Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at Mr. Elmore's funeral, and the New Black Panther Party -- displaying guns -- later took to the streets.

The case had been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which shared the results of its inquiry with District Attorney Ashley Wright. She presented that evidence today to grand jurors.

Although police dash-cam video of the incident had been seen by Sheriff Ronnie Strength, it had not been made public because it was part of the GBI’s investigation.

However, the sheriff said last December, he had seen the video and it indicated his men had acted properly.

According to the tape, it appears the deputies were defending themselves, he said. Neither has been involved in an officer-related shooting in the past. Both have been assigned to administrative duties pending the outcome of the investigation.

The deputies were responding to a tip about a man with drugs and weapons in an SUV when they boxed in Mr. Elmore, 23, using their patrol cars, Sheriff Strength said.

As Deputy Ortiz approached from the front on foot, Mr. Elmore put his SUV in reverse, rammed Deputy Hodge's car and drove toward Deputy Ortiz.

A gunshot then fatally wounded Mr. Elmore. He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital where he died several days later when his family asked that he be taken off life-support systems.

Follow augustachronicle.com for updates on today's grand jury meeting.

Comments (43) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Purelaughs
0
Points
Purelaughs 05/05/09 - 02:03 pm
0
0
What a great way to spend tax

What a great way to spend tax payers money! Why not just take the thousands of dollars being spent on this grand jury review and give it to those living in Cherry Tree Crossing. The thug is dead.. why waste anymore money.

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 02:11 pm
0
0
so is that procedure when

so is that procedure when someone is driving off after being pulled over- aim for the window and shoot them? And if he was attempting to run him over why wouldn't the cop jump out of the way? He could've been fleeing the scene because he was driving w/o license and knew one more ticket would mean jail time but instead of getting what he probably derserved under a fair trial driving off cost him his life? I also think it's interesting that it says they "boxed him in" with their patrol cars as if they knew this was the SUV and suspect they were looking for without even questioning him or searching his car,, was the protocol to shoot any black man in an SUV near this complex? Surely he was guilty of something else he wouldn't have decide to flee but was he guilty of something punishable by death-guess we wont know will we? i do want to know what the protocol is for officers on the scene when drivers attempt to drive off after being pulled over and "boxed in".

Riverman1
93607
Points
Riverman1 05/05/09 - 02:13 pm
0
0
Did the fatal gunshot go

Did the fatal gunshot go through the front or side window?

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 02:13 pm
0
0
wow purelaughs, so he's

wow purelaughs, so he's automatically a thug because he has dreads, is black and was profiled? you must have known him personally to quickly classify him as a thug correct?

Purelaughs
0
Points
Purelaughs 05/05/09 - 02:17 pm
0
0
If you are in and out of

If you are in and out of prison on multiple drug charges.. YES i would classify you as a thug. Stop trying to make it a race thing.

sueboo418
37
Points
sueboo418 05/05/09 - 02:17 pm
0
0
Karenlyss, in case you did

Karenlyss, in case you did not see, he had a criminal history a mile long and had warrants out. This man KNEW if he was caught again, he was going away for a long time. He made his choice which unfortunately cost him his life.

MS_ALEXIS
0
Points
MS_ALEXIS 05/05/09 - 02:25 pm
0
0
I am truly glad that they

I am truly glad that they finally got him off the streets....BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY. If you violate the law and then try to run from the law you shall be punished. He had plenty of chances to make his life right and then afterward the ghetto people of Cherry Tree had to show how ghetto and black they really were by starting fires and riots. Thats funny because I didn't know that would bring back the dead. They just wanted some tv time. Its embarrassing to know people act this way when the only thing they had to do was think smart and get together and put justice to justice. Not everybody is crooked. But may he rest in peace and I pray none of those kids down there grow up and learn from this.

themaninthemirror
0
Points
themaninthemirror 05/05/09 - 02:31 pm
0
0
I guess according to some

I guess according to some this man should have been let go to commit more crimes and possibly hurt people. He was a wanted criminal who had previously been in trouble with the law, and did not want to get caught. Certainly the policemen had no intent to mistreat him if he had complied with them. The policmemen knew they were dealing with a dangerous criminal and did what they had to do to protect themselves and others. As for Mr. Elmore, his actions got him exactly what he deserved. The only one that deserves any sympathy is he child he left behind.

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 02:32 pm
0
0
1 dead how many more thugs to

1 dead how many more thugs to go

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 02:33 pm
0
0
you're right i did miss that

you're right i did miss that in the article, read it again and still dont see where they mention the drugs were found in his car and that the victim had a record. can someone point that out in the article where it says he has a criminal history "a mile long"?

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 02:35 pm
0
0
Karenlyss umm when you have

Karenlyss umm when you have an endless criminal record as he did then yes the idiot is a thug

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 02:38 pm
0
0
did i miss the article that

did i miss the article that said he had an endless criminal record? i can't find it,...

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 02:41 pm
0
0
I hate when people to try

I hate when people to try stick up for these low life idiots take your liberal crap somewhere else

sueboo418
37
Points
sueboo418 05/05/09 - 02:47 pm
0
0
and with his history he

and with his history he should have BEEN in jail already and none of this would even be going on.

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 02:56 pm
0
0
thankssueboo418. TheLaw7 it's

thankssueboo418. TheLaw7 it's not about being liberal or "sticking up" for anyone, it's simply questioning the info that was in the article as this is my first time reading or hearing about the story. without links to related articles (something the chronicle should start including) the info presented didn't reference his past record or that drugs/weapons were found in the car. it was as if the officers profiled someone in an SUV, shot a man trying to flee the scene and is now investigating if procedure was followed. aside from this article let's not pretend like black men aren't profiled in America but i wasn't trying to make it about race, just simply taking the info that's on today's article as i found this link from Yahoo's homepage of latest news not this website

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 03:02 pm
0
0
yes it is shut your all about

yes it is shut your all about playing the race card, black men are not profiled thats whats wrong with you and everyone else too stupid. Stop playing the race card

KSL
143697
Points
KSL 05/05/09 - 03:04 pm
0
0
You can do your own research,

You can do your own research, as well.

tonyt15street
0
Points
tonyt15street 05/05/09 - 03:04 pm
0
0
I think some people are

I think some people are prepared for God returning, because they feel it's okay to go out and kill people that have made mistakes. Or maybe these are forrmer slavemaster kids. We don't have wanted dead or alive. Just because you wear a uniform it does not give you the right to murder someone. Cop need proper training.

sueboo418
37
Points
sueboo418 05/05/09 - 03:05 pm
0
0
Karen, I just typed in his

Karen, I just typed in his name in the search box on this webpage and found it that way. So any article with his name will come up. He has quite a criminal history.

tonyt15street
0
Points
tonyt15street 05/05/09 - 03:06 pm
0
0
Did they gun Chales Manson

Did they gun Chales Manson down in the streets or did he get DUE PROCESS. bE FOR REAL PEOPLE.

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 03:08 pm
0
0
TheLaw7 your post is too

TheLaw7 your post is too stupid for me to even reply to. LOL, you're funny.
sueboo418 i still dont think he deserved to die on the scene. i honestly dont think shooting someone was their common procedure. just my opinion.
and when running a story like this that has over 100 past comments, yes the paper should include links to related articles as most other news sites tend to do.

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 03:10 pm
0
0
They didn't muder anybody

They didn't muder anybody tony15street when you have an SVU coming at THE POLICE and your trying to run them over they protected themselves so they fired and hit him. they prevented him from him running him over or some inocent person. they did no crime but stopped him from doing harm to them or somebody else .

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 03:11 pm
0
0
umm Charles Manson didn't try

umm Charles Manson didn't try to run them over with an SVU.

tonyt15street
0
Points
tonyt15street 05/05/09 - 03:12 pm
0
0
Your criminal record has

Your criminal record has nothing to do with being gunned down without due process. We all have Civil Rights. We all have broken the law asome point , What about you people that are so critical of him that break God's law on a daily basis. Jesus died for his sins as he did for mine and yours. Don't get ahead of yourself with this condeeming mentality. This was a human being, and some of you would make more fuss over a dog being killed before human. (Micheal Vick)

BombquishaDavis
113
Points
BombquishaDavis 05/05/09 - 03:14 pm
0
0
Wonderin if Miss Alexis would

Wonderin if Miss Alexis would run if she had 9mm pointed at her? If she ran would that make her a thug? If she wore dreads and drove an SUV does she deserve to be shot? How would you know if you pulled up to a traffic light and NattyDreads in the next vehicle is a thug? It was published he had a long record?
Was the record printed on the SUV? On a billboard in Cherry Tree? So he ran. 9 mm would make me move real quick. I guess running is one of the new 7 deadly sins? I can understand cops being nervous quicker than "he should have been shot he's a thug". After all they are human too. As usual folk go off half cocked. Even the sheriff's department have been closed mouthed about the incident. Folk need to quit assuming...
Assume---a** out of u and me.

karenlyss
3
Points
karenlyss 05/05/09 - 03:16 pm
0
0
Thank you tonyt15street,

Thank you tonyt15street, that's my point. dude could've been given the same trial as every other criminal with a long history. we all know public housing has a higher percentage of African Americans living there and the article sueboo418 posted even stated a college kid with the same charges wouldn't be harassed nearly as much as someone with drug possession living in pub. housing. let's be honest people. dude is dead not simply because he's a thug with a "mile long" criminal record. i just spoke with my girlfriend in CO Springs today who lost $50K in the AIG drama and if you don't consider this type of white collar crime that was obviously committed over years, something punishable by death then you should. But where is this joka and wife? chillin in one of their 7 houses not giving 2 red cents back to those who lost it or giving a crap about them. So as long as the "thug" is in a suit and tie it's ok for him to rip off and destroy lives but if the thug is in the projects with dreads he deserves to be shot on the scene? interesting,,,,

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 03:16 pm
0
0
umm tony that still doesn't

umm tony that still doesn't have anything to do with him trying to run them over and them protecting themselves.

TheLaw7
0
Points
TheLaw7 05/05/09 - 03:18 pm
0
0
wow your an idiot the dude

wow your an idiot the dude tried to run the police over!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and if i were in the same situation i'd shoot him to if i had a svu coming to run me over sorry i have a family to go home to every night and so do they shut up and quit playing the race card

sueboo418
37
Points
sueboo418 05/05/09 - 03:34 pm
0
0
Unfortunately Karenlyss, you

Unfortunately Karenlyss, you probably would NOT see this kind of criminal histoy from a college student black or white!!

Back to Top

Top headlines

Kettle donations rise in 2014

After a disappointing showing last year, donations to the Salvation Army's local Red Kettle Campaign have risen nearly 20 percent in 2014.
Search Augusta jobs