Grand Jury clears CPD officer in shooting of Fort Benning firefighter
COLUMBUS, GA – 20 months have passed since a Columbus police officer mistakenly shot and killed a Fort Benning firefighter during a bank robbery.
Officer Vincent Lockhart has been on a paid leave of absence since the shooting and a grand jury heard details of the case. Their job? To determine if a criminal investigation should proceed or be dismissed.
After hearing six hours of testimony, the grand jury voted to clear Lockhart.
It all started in September of 2011 when bank robber Alraheim Tolbert fled the MEA Credit Union into Tony Carr's yard. There, officials say he carjacked Carr in order to escape from Lockhart who was in pursuit on foot.
When the truck reportedly tried to back over Lockhart, he fired at the truck, killing both Tolbert and Carr.
In October 2012, District Attorney Julia Slater officially declared Carr an innocent man and Tuesday it was up to the grand jury to decide if her office should move forward in the case.
NBC 38 spoke with a few witnesses as they came out of the court room. They say they heard Lockhart fire more than ten rounds, possibly reloading his weapon.
Lockhart's attorney says he has been cleared to return to work and will start back immediately.
After hearing Tuesday's verdict, Tony Carr's brother, Michael Carr, told NBC 38 the grand jury decision is a quote “miscarriage of justice”, a “complete sham” and that he is going after Slater's license.