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GBI: Officer who shot man perceived threat

26-year-old was not man being sought in murder investigation

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WAYCROSS, Ga. – A 26-year-old man shot by a Waycross police officer Thursday afternoon was a perceived threat to the officer who opened the door in a dark bedroom inside the apartment where the shooting happened, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Investigators said Andrew Poole was shot by the officer at about 12:30 p.m. at the Garlington Heights apartment.

Waycross police requested that GBI's Douglas office conduct an investigation.

GBI said its initial investigation revealed that the Waycross Police Department received information that a man investigators were looking for to interview in connection with an unsolved killing was in the apartment.

Officers received permission from someone in the apartment to look around and were told that no one was upstairs, investigators said.

A uniformed officer who went upstairs encountered Poole as he was opening the door in a dark bedroom, and the officer perceived what he believed to be a threat, according to GBI.

The officer fired his weapon one time, striking Poole in the stomach, investigators said.

It was later determined that Poole was not the man being sought, investigators said. They said no gun was found in the apartment.

Poole then received medical attention and was taken to a local hospital in serious condition. He was recovering.

The officer's name was not released.

GBI said its investigation is still ongoing, and so no other details will be released at this time.

Darlene King, Poole's fiancee, said Poole is in so much pain he doesn't realize he was shot by an officer.

King said she's upset the officer would view Poole as threatening. She said two of their young children were in the apartment at the time of the shooting.

"He wasn't no threat. I didn't have no weapons in my house, no drugs, nothing," King said. "He's progressing slowly right now. He's in and out of it, and he's healing very slowly."

Once the investigation is complete, the investigative report will be provided to the District Attorney for review, according to GBI.

Neighbors said they're still shocked by the shooting, but are relieved GBI has released details about what happened.

"From what I know of him out here, he stays to himself," neighbor Veronica Cobb said of Poole. "I mean, he doesn't bother nobody, never has. So that's kind of crazy for him to get shot in a situation like that."

"They're showing remorse about it. That's a good thing," neighbor Betty White said of investigators. "So I feel like in the end everything is going to be OK. I mean, it's just human error."