Atlanta, GA – A Fulton County deputy fatally shot a suspect he found breaking into his home as he was returning from work late Saturday night.
The incident began shortly before midnight on Jan. 22, when the deputy received a notification from his doorbell camera as he was coming home from his shift, WXIA reported.
The footage showed a man breaking into the deputy’s residence, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
When the deputy got to his house, he spotted the suspect walking off with a load of tools and various other items, the GBI said.
The uniformed deputy, who was driving his personal vehicle, followed the suspect as he headed down a gravel road, WXIA reported.
The suspect took off into the woods as the deputy approached him, so the deputy followed after him, according to the GBI.
As he got into the wooded area, a confrontation ensued and the deputy discharged his duty pistol, striking the suspect.
Atlanta police were dispatched to the scene at approximately 12:04 a.m. on Jan. 23 and found the deputy performing CPR on the wounded suspect, WXIA reported.
The suspect was rushed to Grady Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds.
He was later identified as 59-year-old Bobby Lee Sutton, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The deputy suffered a minor ankle injury during the brawl, according to the GBI.
Police found property in the woods that belonged to the deputy, and said the back door of his home had been kicked in, WXIA reported.
Sutton’s family denounced the shooting and has demanded answers from police.
“You get out of your car, you follow him in a wooded area, and you shoot him down like he’s nobody – like he has no family or nothing,” the suspect’s niece, Montanique Sutton, complained to WXIA. “That’s not fair! That’s not justice.”
Montanique said her uncle was “just an all-around good person” who would help anyone, WXIA reported.
“To know him is to love him. He was no stranger to anybody,” she added.
Montanique said her family wants to know “what happened” prior to her uncle being shot, WXIA reported.
“Nobody’s perfect, we know that,” she said. “But I need to know, was his shooting justified for my uncle?”
Montanique has set up a fundraiser seeking $15,000 to help pay for Sutton’s funeral expenses.
“This shooting was unjustified and police killing has to Stop,” she wrote. “please help my family…”
No donations had been made to the fundraiser as of Thursday morning.
The GBI is handling the ongoing investigation into the incident, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The case will then be handed over to the Fulton County District Attorney’s Office, which will determine whether or not criminal charges will be filed.