The four SCMPD officers involved in a fatal shooting of a suspect in Savannah, GA last fall have been cleared of any wrongdoing by a Chatham County Grand Jury Monday.
According to WSAV3, Officers Daniel Kang, Michael Gonzales, Ruben Colon and John Hauber were legally justified in the shooting of felon Tyrie Cuyler, who shot Colon and Gonzales during a traffic stop.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation report indicates the officers fired 19 shots at Cuyler after the convicted felon opened fire. When Cuyler was neutralized, it was found that the handle of his .38 caliber revolver was wrapped in electrical tape in an attempt to leave no fingerprints.
Cuyler was also linked via statements and DNA evidence to a rape a few days before he was killed and was also the main suspect in the rape of another woman, which occurred in August of last year.
The officers’ actions were well documented, with the whole incident being captured on three body cameras- supplying the Grand Jury with a clear insight into what occurred.
“The officers actions just validate the training he’s been participating in and the thought process,” former SCMPD Major Gerry Long said of the footage. “This is a threat and i need to react to it. and it gives the citizen a perspective this is what they deal with on a daily basis.”
Long says the use of force is justified, considering Cuyler’s disposition and the fact that he drew first blood.
“He’s already demonstrated he’s dangerous, he’s already demonstrated he has no fear of shooting people, including the police, so you can’t let him go,” she said. ”They know that there’s an officer down so they can’t let this guy go out into the general public with a firearm, he’s obviously clearly going to hurt somebody.”
Cuyler was 25-years-old at the time of his death, having spent time in a Georgia State Prison in 2009 for robbery and cocaine possession. He was prohibited from owning a firearm.
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