Officers Cleared in Police Shooting

By Kate Gaier
6pm January 24, 2007

The District Attorney calls the shooting death of 43-year-old Willie Banks "tragic but justified."

Banks was shot three times the night of November 16, all three bullets fired from Moultrie Police SGT Bruce Hamm. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been looking into the fatal shooting and handed over its findings to District Attorney David Miller on December 12.

Miller provided a written statement about the case.

"After review of the facts and the applicable Georgia law, I have concluded that this was a tragic, but justifiable shooting death."

The investigation found that Banks was armed with a hunting knife at the time of the shooting. Banks' family has hired an attorney and will not comment on the ruling into his death, but just hours after the shooting family members did say, "I don't believe that. My son, he doesn't tote no kind of weapons. He wasn't a violent person. He was a good person. He would help you before he'd hurt you," commented Ruby Banks, the victim's mother.

Donna Gamble, the victim's niece, added, "He was a real helpful person. He didn't mean no harm; he didn't mean no harm to nobody. I know, I know my uncle. I know he wouldn't offer no harm to nobody."

Banks’ family told us back in November he was mentally ill. They still can't understand why officers would shoot him, but those three Moultrie police officers are cleared of any criminal accusations.