No charges for Georgia deputy who fatally shot armed man on porch in 2020

Credit: Heard County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Heard County Sheriff's Office

A Heard County sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a drunken, armed man outside his home will not face criminal charges related to his use of force, officials said.

Using evidence from a GBI investigation, including body camera footage, prosecutors determined that Deputy Radford Brooks was justified when he shot 52-year-old Robert Maike during a standoff on the man’s porch, Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herb Cranford announced Tuesday.

The GBI investigation was conducted at the request of the Heard sheriff’s office following the shooting in August 2020, Cranford said.

According to the GBI, Brooks and other deputies were called to Maike’s home about 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 15 in response to a domestic disturbance. At the scene, they found Maike, who was drunk, arguing with his wife and threatening her, authorities said. At one point, Maike told his wife, “somebody is going to die tonight, I’m telling you that,” according to the GBI.

After deputies arrived at the home, Maike’s wife agreed to leave, authorities said. The deputies left as well, but returned to the home about two hours later when a neighbor called 911 and reported that Maike was outside shooting guns and yelling profanities.

Explore Map: Georgia's officer-involved shootings under GBI investigation in 2020

Responding deputies, including Brooks, approached the home and found Maike sitting on his porch, unarmed, the GBI said. The deputies “lawfully ordered Maike to stop and speak with them about the yelling and the gunfire,” according to Cranford.

In the body camera footage, which was reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Brooks can be heard saying that Maike refused an order to get on his knees. Instead, Maike disappeared inside.

The deputies who remained outside the home repeatedly asked Maike to come out, the GBI said. A few minutes later, Maike came back onto the porch with two long guns and sat down. Deputies ordered Maike to drop the weapons, but he refused, keeping one gun in his lap and the other strapped to his shoulder, authorities said.

Maike, who remained seated on the porch, asked the police to leave several times, Cranford said. Without warning, he lifted the gun in his lap, the video shows. Brooks reacted to the sudden movement by firing his gun six times, striking Maike in the head once.

Maike was pronounced dead at Tanner Medical Center, and a toxicology report later revealed his blood alcohol content was .138, Cranford said. The legal DUI limit for blood alcohol content in Georgia is .08.

The GBI turned over its investigation to the DA’s office in February, Cranford said. After reviewing the evidence, he determined the deadly shooting was justified. The case will not be presented to a grand jury and is considered closed, Cranford said.

Maike’s death was one of 44 fatal officer-involved shootings reported by the GBI in 2020 out of 96 total.