LAURENS COUNTY, GA- A Georgia widow is filing charges against Laurens County Police following the murder of her husband in a SWAT raid on their home in September. This week, her attorney claimed David Hooks was shot as he was face down in the drug raid that turned up nothing. As the Hooks’ family attorney noted,
“That search of some 44 hours conducted by numerous agents of the G.B.I. [Georgia Bureau of Investigation] resulted in not one item of contraband being found.”
In fact, Hooks owned a construction company that contracted with the military. He had undergone background checks by the Department of Homeland Security and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to obtain security clearance.
Teresa Hooks, David Hooks’ wife, recounted the incident in full to 13-WMAZ News:
“Between 10:30 and 11, I turned the light off upstairs. I heard a car coming up the driveway really fast, and I looked up the upstairs window. I saw a black vehicle with no lights. I saw 6 to 8 men, coming around the side of my house, and I panicked. I came running downstairs, yelling for David to wake up. He was in the bedroom asleep, had been for about an hour and a half. When I got downstairs to the bottom of the stairs, he opened the door and he had a gun in his hand, and he said, ‘Who is it?,’ and I said I didn’t know. He stepped back into the bedroom like he was going to grab his pants, but before he could do that, the door was busted down. He came around me, in the hall, into the den, and I was gonna come behind him, but before I could step into the den the shots were fired, and it was over.”
She said that the police did not knock or identify themselves until after they had barged into the home and fired shots.
This week, the Hooks family attorney, Mitchell Shook, claimed that the Laurens County Sheriff deputies and their SWAT counterparts shot Hooks when they broke in the door and again when he was on the ground. He had gun shot wounds to his back, the side of his head, and the back of ihs left shoulder.
“The trajectory of both of those shots coupled with the numerous shots that were obviously fired downward lead us to believe that David Hooks was face down on the ground when he was shot those last two times.”
“The task force and the SRT members broke down the back door of the family’s home and entered, firing an excessive sixteen shots. There is no evidence that David Hooks ever fired a weapon.”
He further disputed the “official” story”:
“In the affidavit that the G.B.I. agent did to get the second search warrant, there was a statement in there which obviously came from Laurens County officers and deputies indicating that David Hooks was seen retreating up the stairs, that he then came back down the stairs with a gun. First of all we know from Teresa Hooks statement of what happened that is not what happened. Secondly we know that’s not what happened because it would be completely impossible for the entry team to have seen the stairs that Teresa Hooks came down to awaken David Hooks that night.”
Police obtained a search warrant to raid the Hooks’ home after a methamphetamine addict, Rodney Garret, robbed the Hooks’ truck the night before, going on to steal another car the family owned. He said he took a bag he thought was filled with cash, but later realized it was filled with meth and scales. Fearing for his safety, he turned himself in and blamed the drugs on Hooks. This, combined with a similar (but unproved) allegation against Hooks from 5-years earlier, earned the police their warrant.
It is not uncommon for SWAT officers and police to shoot people when conducting raids. Often, it is done while they are raiding the wrong homesor the homes of innocent people. The ACLU estimates that 124 SWAT raids are executed a day in the United States (46,000 a year, though some claims are higher).
The Hooks’ case is particularly disturbing because if the medical evidence is correct (the autopsy is still forthcoming), it implies the final shots fired were execution-style and entirely unnecessary as the victim was already debilitated on the floor.
Naturally, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Laurens County Police have refused to comment any further on the case. Shook said
“The Sheriff’s Department has [gone] into complete lockdown. They have issued no statements. They won’t tell the press or even the Hooks family who the people who participated in this illegal raid were. They haven’t told us if they’ve been placed on administrative leave, suspended, or if they’re still out there supposedly enforcing the law.”
Shook hopes “…the Laurens County District Attorney will take the case to a grand jury and not solely rely on law enforcement’s take of the deadly raid.” Given the recent trends, however, such an outcome is a long shot.
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