GBI: Slain Riverdale officer shot 4 times, not twice, in raid

Riverdale police Maj. Greg ‘Lem’ Barney (Credit: Riverdale Police Department)

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Riverdale police Maj. Greg ‘Lem’ Barney (Credit: Riverdale Police Department)

A slain Riverdale police major was shot four times last week in a raid he was not directly involved in, contrary to initial reports that he was shot twice while helping Clayton County police serve a no-knock drug warrant, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Preliminary findings from a GBI Medical Examiner’s autopsy revealed that Maj. Greg ‘Lem’ Barney was shot in the abdomen, arm, leg and lower back, GBI spokesman Scott Dutton said Tuesday.

The injuries to his leg and lower back were not noticeably visible at the crime scene, Dutton said.

Barney, a major who had a 25-year career with the Riverdale Police Department, had no official role in the operations plan as Clayton police tried to serve a no-knock drug warrant about 11:15 a.m. at the Villages on the River, an apartment complex in the 6600 block of Church Street.

Villages on the River, which has long had a reputation for crime, is visible from Riverdale police headquarters. Barney wanted to be among the first to respond if a call for service came from there or someplace else in Clayton, colleagues previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Channel 2 Action News.

An officer knocked on suspect Jerand Ross’ front door. And instead of surrendering, the suspect allegedly ran out a back door. Barney witnessed Ross running from behind the apartment while the SWAT team made entry and chased him. Ross allegedly fired the shots that killed Barney.

“If something happened in front of [Barney],” Clayton County Maj. Johnny Robinson told Channel 2 last week, “he would take some type of action, regardless, which he did.”

Two other suspects were charged in connection with the drug raid. But 26-year-old Joey Cartrell King Jr., who was charged with drug offenses and possessing a weapon during the commission of a crime, was released on a $30,300 bond, according to Channel 2. And 25-year-old Robert Dixon Jr., who was charged with three drug offenses in connection with the raid, was released on a $22,600 bond.

A court official reportedly told Channel 2 that the part-time judge who granted King and Dixon’s bonds was not informed their charges were related to the raid that led to Barney’s death.

Clayton County jail records showed King, a Stockbridge resident, was released at 8:15 p.m. Friday, about 24 hours after his arrest. Dixon, a Riverdale resident, was released just before 1 a.m. Saturday.

Ross, 24, who faces murder charges, remains in the hospital and continues to be treated for injuries he sustained in an exchange of gunfire with police, Dutton said.