GBI: Waycross officer shoots man, 26

Residents, relatives say shooting was unprovoked

WAYCROSS, Ga. - A Waycross police officer shot a 26-year-old man inside an apartment at a complex in Garlington Heights on Thursday afternoon, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The man who was shot was taken to a hospital in serious but stable condition. He underwent surgery and was said to be recovering.

Waycross police were called to the shooting at about 1:30 p.m.

The Waycross Police Department said GBI was called in and the investigation was turned over to its investigators.

"I can't really go into any details on why (the officers) were here or exactly what happened until we just know a little bit more," said Russell Mansfield, of GBI.

Residents who live at the apartment complex said they don't believe the man deserved to be shot. They said the shooting was unprovoked and the man was unarmed.

"I heard a gunshot go off, so I ran out my front door. They followed behind me, and I ran to my sister's house, and they had shot my brother-in-law for no apparent reason," said Latreace Cannady, the man's sister-in-law. "He doesn't smoke or drink. He's not a criminal or anything."

Cannady said police were looking for her brother on a probation violation.

"He came back there, and he went back upstairs with another officer, and I heard a 'pow.' And then the boy was yelling, 'Oh Lord, oh Lord," said Merciteen Smith.

Cannady said the shooting was a case of mistaken identity, saying her brother-in-law is an innocent father of two.

Family members identified the shooting victim as Andrew Poole.

GBI was still trying to pin down a single story late Thursday.

"It concerns me a lot that all these people continue to give us these stories about what's going on out here," said Mansfield.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was at the complex conducting its own investigation.

"It concerns me a lot if all these people continue to give us these stories about what's going on out here and then something like this happens. It just reminds me about what happened in Florida," Rev. Harry O'Hara, of the NAACP in Waycross, said, referring to the recent Trayvon Martin shooting investigation. "We don't have a lot of information right now, but what we're trying to do is get as much as possible."

GBI is expected to release more information in the shooting on Friday.

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