Alicia Herron dialed 911 on Friday afternoon because her fiance, Jack Lamar Roberson, was feeling sick from his diabetes and needed an ambulance. But instead of paramedics coming to help, two police officers showed up and shot Roberson dead.
The mayor of Waycross, Ga., where the shooting happened and where Roberson lived in a mobile home on Reed Street with his family, said that according to information he received, Roberson lunged at the arriving officers with a knife.
The city’s top cop Tony Tanner said that Roberson had two weapons in his hands, though he didn’t say what they were.
But the 43-year-old man’s grieving family says none of that is true.
“He didn’t have nothing in his hands at any time or period at all before they came, any time while they were here, anything,” Herron told a local TV station. “They just came in and shot him. He didn’t say nothing, the police didn’t say nothing, anything, it was like a silent movie. You couldn’t hear anything, all you could hear were the gun shots go off and I seen them going into his body and he just fell down.”
The victim’s mother Diane Roberson witnessed the shooting — which police confirmed involved more than one officer — and also disputes the police account.
“We called 911 for my son cause he wasn’t feeling good so instead of 911 coming, the police came and they rushed in and my son came out of the kitchen, him and my daughter-in-law,” Diane Roberson said. “Police rushed in and my son went to the living room door. The police came in, pulled his gun out, my son put his hands up and they shot him, they shot him down.”
She said that she saw her son fall, throwing up his hands which were empty. The family does not even own a decent knife, she added.
The officers involved in the shooting have been placed on leave and the investigation is now in the hands of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Police have not said said why they went to Roberson’s house in the first place, when the 911 call had been a request for an ambulance. Waycross Mayor Clarence Billups, however, said that officers received a report of a man threatening suicide who had become aggressive.
Sources: First Coast News (2), News One