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District attorney: LPD officer justified in January shooting

A LaGrange police officer was justified in shooting a man that she saw shoot and kill Jazmen Glanton in January, District Attorney Herb Cranford’s office determined.

Cranford sent a press release Thursday that detailed the Jan. 20, 2020, incident, which occurred at Tall Pines Apartments, located at 150 Turner Street. Cranford’s office also determined that there wasn’t enough evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the shooter, Patrick Reeves, wasn’t justified in shooting Glanton after he had attacked Reeves’ sister.

“The weight of the evidence shows that Glanton was a deadly threat to Reeves’ and Reeves’ sister,” the press release said.

The officer was not identified in the DA’s press release but had previously been identified as Megan Keith.

Keith had arrived at the scene at approximately 1:15 a.m., responding to a 911 call to the Tall Pines Apartments. When she got 10 to 15 feet away, she heard yelling and observed Reeves rack a handgun and shoot Glanton, who was walking toward Reeves, the release said.

At that point, Keith fired her gun one time, striking Reeves in the arm. According to the press release, Reeves then raised his hands in the air and dropped the handgun. He was handcuffed and taken to WellStar West Georgia Medical Center. All of these events were captured on the officer’s body camera, according to the press release.

Keith hit her emergency alert button and checked on Glanton, who was not breathing. He later was pronounced dead at WGMC. According to the press release, Keith told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that she fired her weapon to prevent Reeves from shooting her or another bystander.

The press release noted the official code of Georgia section 17-4-20(b), which authorizes the use of deadly force by an officer to apprehend a suspected felon when, among other circumstances, “the officer reasonably believes that the suspect poses an immediate threat of physical violence to the officer or others.” The same statute permits the use of deadly force “when there is probable cause to believe that the suspect has committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious physical harm.”

“Under the above stated provisions of OCGA 17-4-20(b), the evidence shows that the officer’s decision to use deadly force against Reeves was justified because the officer fired her weapon immediately after observing Reeves shoot Glanton,” the press release said. “In other words, it was objectively reasonable for the officer to regard Reeves as an immediate threat of violence to herself and others in the moment she decided to fire her weapon at Reeves. The fact that the District Attorney’s Office has subsequently determined that Reeves’s own use of force against Glanton was justified under the law to defend himself and his sister does not undermine the validity and legality of the officer’s decision to use force against Reeves in that moment.”

The DA’s office also reviewed Reeves’ actions.

According to the press release, Glanton had been visiting Reeves’ sister on Jan. 19 and in the early hours of Jan. 20. Glanton and Reeves’ sister have a child together and have known each other approximately five or six years. The LaGrange Daily News does not identify victims of domestic violence, so it is not identifying Reeves’ sister.

Reeves told the GBI he had spent the day with his sister and Glanton, but then went to visit a friend in the apartment above his sister’s apartment. He heard yelling and screaming from his sister’s apartment and tried to get inside. He could not get in, but he could hear his sister calling for him to call 911.

According to the press release, Reeves told police he went upstairs and called 911 and returned to his sister’s apartment. The door was partially open and his sister had a bloody face.

Reeves told police that he and Glanton began to struggle and Glanton reached for a gun, which was on the floor. Reeves got to the gun first and he and his sister backed out of the apartment.

Glanton started coming toward Reeves, so he pointed the gun and chambered a round.

Glanton continued to come toward him, so Reeves told police that he fired the gun. Reeves told police as soon as he shot Glanton, he was shot by the LPD officer.

According to the press release, the victim told GBI that Glanton was arguing with her because she did not want to have sex with him and another woman. She said that he hit her with his fists, spat on her and attempted to smother her.

Both the victim and Reeves told police that Glanton had a history of committing domestic violence. The press release specifically referenced a 2017 Hogansville Police Department report where the victim called police because Glanton pulled her hair back and struck her in the face because the victim wouldn’t have sex with him. The victim was pregnant at the time with Glanton’s child.

The press release also said a full canvas of the neighborhood took place and at least four residents witnessed or heard part of the events from the evening.

Witnesses at the hospital also heard Reeves say that he didn’t want to shoot Glanton, but he thought he was going to kill his sister.

“In conclusion, the District Attorney’s Office declines to prosecute the involved officer regarding her use of force against Patrick Reeves and declines to prosecute Patrick Reeves regarding his use of force against Jazmen Glanton,” the press release said. “As such, the District Attorney’s Office considers both matters to be closed.”

The LaGrange Police Department had completed its own administrative review earlier this year, determining that Keith’s response to aggression complies with the tenets of department policy. As is department policy, Keith was placed on administrative leave during the review and was reinstated on Feb. 6.

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