Athens, GA – The Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) has released bodycam footage that captured the fatal officer-involved shooting of an alleged “peeping Tom” who pointed a shotgun at police (video below).
“It is my opinion that this shooting was justified,” Athens-Clarke Deputy Police Chief Jeff Clark said during a press conference on May 9. “The officer was protecting himself, and not only him but another officer, from a serious threat.”
The incident began at approximately 11:40 p.m. on April 20, when a woman called to report that her neighbor, 63-year-old Carlton Steve Brooks, was staring at her from his Hull Road home with binoculars, Chief Clark said.
The department had dealt with Brooks in the past, he added.
ACCPD Officer Ethan Marsden, 31, was one of two officer who responded to the call.
After speaking with the victim, the officers made their way over to Brooks’ home, and motioned for him to come outside, bodycam footage showed.
“Hey sir, come to the door,” Officer Marsden said, as he illuminated himself with a flashlight to show Brooks that he was a police officer.
When Brooks failed to emerge from the house, the officer approached the front door again.
“Oh s--t – he’s got a weapon,” he suddenly cautioned his partner while backing away from the residence.
“Sir! Put the weapon down!” he ordered repeatedly.
Brooks opened the front door a moment later, and pointed a shotgun at Officer Marsden.
“Sir! What are you doing? Put that down!” the officer screamed, just before he fired two rounds at the suspect.
Brooks immediately backed into the house.
“What’d you shoot me for?” he yelled at the Officer Marsden.
The officers repeatedly ordered Brooks to get away from the weapon and to raise his hands.
The gunman collapsed to the ground a moment later, and the gun fell down between his legs.
Officer Marsden called for emergency medical personnel to respond, then moved in towards the suspect.
“Sir, do not touch that weapon,” he told him. “We’re coming to help you, okay? You hear me sir?”
Brooks was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Chief Clark said during the press conference.
Officer Marsden, a three-year veteran-of-the-force, has been placed on paid administrative leave, as per protocol.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation into the officer-involved shooting.
“I want to extend my condolences to the family of Mr. Brooks,” Chief Clark said. “Certainly, my prayers are with the family in this time and also likewise I want to extend the same thing to the officers that were involved.”
You can watch bodycam footage of the officers' encounter with Brooks in the video below. WARNING - Graphic Content.