Grand jury finds fatal deputy-involved shooting justified

Published: May. 10, 2018 at 10:13 AM EDT
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News

May 10, 2018

THOMASVILLE, Ga. (WCTV) -- A presentment has been returned that finds the

of a man in Thomasville last year to be justified.

A Thomas County grand jury made the recommendation on Wednesday after reviewing the evidence in the shooting of 37-year-old Herbert Gilbert Jr. on August 15, 2017.

Gilbert died at the hospital after being shot by Thomas County Drug Agent Josh Smith during an incident in the 400 block of Magnolia Street.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Thomas County Drug Agents were in the area attempting to execute a search warrant when the shooting occurred.

Court documents state that Gilbert attempted to flee the scene in his vehicle, and struck a law enforcement vehicle in the process. Documents state that Agent Smith opened fire on Gilbert when he reversed his vehicle towards one of the agents on scene.

The fatal shooting sparked

from Gilbert's family, community members, and the Black Lives Matter group.

The grand jury presentment was returned in court this morning at 9:30 a.m.

While the grand jury's decision officially closes the criminal case, Gilbert's family can still open a civil case on the matter if they choose.