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Charges dropped against security guard shot in hand by Carroll County cop

Two misdemeanor charges filed against a security guard who was shot in the hand by a Carroll County deputy have been dropped.

At the same time, the deputy won’t face charges despite a grand jury’s recommendation that he should be indicted on a reckless conduct charge.

Joshua Mapson was shot by Tyler North last year during an incident at a Dollar General parking lot around 3:30 a.m., AJC.com previously reported. Mapson, who was working security for a movie set nearby, was sleeping in his car when North approached him and woke him up.

RELATED: Security guard shot by officer thought he was being robbed

Mapson didn’t realize North was a deputy and tried to drive away, and North thought Mapson might try to run him over. North, who said he feared for his life, shot seven times at Mapson, hitting him in his left hand

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After the incident, Mapson was charged with reckless conduct and loitering. The GBI was called to investigate North’s use of force during the incident.

On. Nov. 2, 2018 , Mapson’s charged were dropped, according to Coweta County District Attorney John “Herb” Cranford Jr.

After the GBI finished its investigation, Cranford said he tried to reach Mapson several times before sending the findings to a grand jury, but he said he was unable to reach him. The grand jury ended up recommending that Cranford indict North of a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge.

However, Cranford said Mapson called him back on Nov. 7. Even though Mapson thought North fired more shots than were necessary, including one at the rear of his car, he successfully asked Cranford not to indict North of any charges.

In a written statement presented in court, Mapson said, in part:

“I believe that the entire situation was completely circumstantial and both the officer and I responded in a way where both parties were afraid for their lives. I do not think that the officer should have fired as many rounds as he did, but I am certain that whatever punishment he has received is enough and I hope that he will grow and learn from this incident, as I intend to do myself. In conclusion, I know that the right type of justice was done and I am grateful for all the help that was given to me by the county.”

The other information presented in court provide more detail into the initial incident, which happened on Oct. 9, 2017.

Mapson, who was 22 at the time, was sleeping in his vehicle in the Dollar General’s parking lot at 4755 Ga. 166. He was employed by a local security agency to monitor movie production equipment at a nearby movie set. He was periodically taking naps and leaving the location between checking the equipment. The owner of the set’s property had asked him not to stay at the property all night.

North was on routine patrol in the area when he saw the vehicle parked at the closed business, which he thought was suspicious. When he checked and saw a sleeping Mapson, he knocked on his driver’s side window with a flashlight and asked him to open the door.

Mapson woke up and thought someone was trying to break into his car, so he started his vehicle and put it in reverse. He then tried to drive forward to the parking lot’s exit, but North thought he could turn left into him, striking him with the vehicle.

This image was presented in court and shows where the seven shots Carroll County Deputy Tyler North fired ended up. (Photo: Coweta County District Attorney's Office)

Mapson, upon hearing the shots North fired at him, let go of the steering wheel, ducked and put his hands up, and a bullet hit his left hand.

Mapson drove his car through the end of the parking lot, over a curb and into the woods next to the store. Other deputies arrived, helped Mapson out of his vehicle and took him to a hospital. Mapson had never been arrested before this incident, and he had no drugs or alcohol in his system on the day of the shooting.

Cranford said in a written statement that Mapson’s choice to not seek charges against North was commendable.

“At a time when it seems so many people are quick to see the worst in others and see themselves only as victims, Mr. Mapson has chosen empathy, humility, and grace,” Cranford said. “It is difficult to articulate adequately his thoughtfulness — when emotion and anger were justified, his desire was for justice to be done — concluding that justice in his case is to be merciful to the man that injured him, and his humility — when no one would question him being singularly focused on himself in this situation.” 

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