Alabama sheriff says deputies who shot, killed suspect did nothing wrong

Published 2:45 pm Monday, January 6, 2020

Alabama deputies appeared to have been justified in fatally shooting a man who brandished a shotgun at officers responding to a domestic violence call, the sheriff said Monday.

Sheriff Mike Blakely told a news conference that two deputies were involved in the killing of George Dison, 57, and neither was being placed on administrative leave since there was no indication either officer did anything wrong.

“It’s pretty obvious as to what happened. I’m kind of the old school that if you get thrown off a horse the quicker you can get back on the better off you are,” said Blakely.

The shooting by Limestone County deputies happened after 5 p.m. Sunday at a home in a rural area of Elkmont, sheriff’s office spokesman Stephen Young told news outlets.

Dison had walked out of the woods near the scene and approached deputies with a shotgun, Young said. Dison ignored orders to drop the weapon, then pointed it at the deputies, Young added. The deputies fatally shot Dison and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

The shooting happened as officers were sent to the home on a domestic violence call for the second time in about six hours.

“It’s not uncommon for us to have multiple calls at an address during the same day, and you obviously have to take that into consideration as a deputy and you have to rely on your training but you have to understand that there could be an additional level of danger,” said Young.

Court records show Dison had multiple arrests for offenses including menacing, domestic violence and assault over the last two decades and Blakely said he knew both the man and his family.

“They’re good people,” he said. “It’s unfortunate something like this had to happen.”

An autopsy will be performed at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences, Limestone County Coroner Mike West said.

The state Bureau of Investigation is reviewing the shooting. Officers were wearing body cameras, the sheriff said, and the state will review any video they captured.