August 1, 2021

DA releases findings from August 2020 officer-involved shooting in Heard County

Press Release by Coweta Circuit District Attorney John H. Cranford, Jr.

(Franklin, GA) — On Saturday, August 15, 2020, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was called by the Heard County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) to conduct an investigation into an officer-involved shooting, during which Heard County Deputy Radford Brooks shot and killed a man named Robert Maike.

The shooting occurred at Maike’s residence, located at 17400 GA-34, following two separate encounters between Heard County Deputies and Maike.

As part of their investigation, the GBI conducted interviews with all officers involved, with the neighbors of Robert Maike, with his spouse, and with those that provided him medical care.

The GBI processed the crime scene, took photographs, collected video footage from dash and body cameras, obtained all relevant dispatch radio traffic and related 911 calls, and reviewed the personnel file of deputy Brooks. They also obtained the Use of Force policy for Heard County Sheriff’s Office.

The GBI turned over its complete investigative file to the District Attorney’s Office on February 18, 2021.

The investigation revealed the following:
On August 15, 2020, at approximately 7:35 p.m., Heard County Deputies, including Deputy Radford Brooks, responded to the Maike residence regarding a domestic disturbance.

While on scene, deputies observed that Maike was intoxicated. During a verbal altercation with his spouse, Maike allegedly made threats against her, and reportedly told his spouse that, “someone is going to die tonight, I’m telling you that.”

The spouse, who had not committed a crime and who was also present on the scene, agreed to leave the location due to the intoxication of Maike.

At approximately 9:20 pm, Deputies were dispatched back to the location.

According to concerned neighbors who called 911, Maike was outside of the residence yelling profanities and randomly discharging firearms. Neighbors were unsure if someone was in danger at the location.

Deputies, including Deputy Brooks, tactically approached the residence and encountered an unarmed Maike on his porch.

Deputies lawfully ordered Maike to stop and speak with them about the yelling and the gunfire.

Maike, who was still intoxicated, refused their order and entered the residence.
Deputies remained outside and requested Maike come out to speak with them.

After several minutes, Maike exited the residence with two long guns in his possession. Maike then sat down in a chair on the porch.

Reasonably concerned for their own safety, deputies ordered Maike to put the weapons on the ground. Maike refused.

One gun was on Maike’s lap, and the other was strapped over his shoulder.

Brooks and other deputies continued to order Maike to drop the weapons, and Maike told the deputies to leave several times.

Maike then quickly and suddenly grabbed the gun in his lap and the gun moved upward.

Brooks immediately shot 6 times, striking Maike in the head once.

Law enforcement personnel then secured the scene and called for an ambulance.

Maike succumbed to his wound and was pronounced deceased at Tanner Medical Center a short time later.

Both encounters with Maike were captured on the body-worn cameras of the deputies.

The videos of the first incident depict an intoxicated Maike who was angry and upset.

The videos of the second incident reveal that the deputies approached the residence with very little visibility, with gunshots sounding in the distance.

The video then captures the initial encounter with Maike, and his refusal to comply with the lawful commands of Brooks.

Finally, the video confirms the witness accounts; Maike quickly grabbed for the weapon in his lap as law enforcement officers repeatedly pleaded with him to drop the weapon.

Following an autopsy, the medical examiner determined that Maike died from the gunshot wounds, and blood tests revealed Maike’s blood alcohol content to be .138.

After a thorough review of the facts of this case and the relevant law, the District Attorney finds that the deputy who used deadly force against Maike was justified in defending himself and others from Maike after he grabbed the weapon in his lap.

Therefore, the District Attorney concludes that Deputy Brooks did not violate the laws of the State of Georgia, and the State will not be presenting this case to either a Civil or Criminal Grand Jury.

Consequently, this Office’s review of this use of force against Robert Maike, and his resulting death, is closed.

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