Atlantic Judicial Circuit District Attorney Tom Durden has decided that Liberty County Deputy Terry Perry’s May 6 shooting of an armed man who had already shot one man was “necessary and proper.”
In a letter Tuesday to Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes, who is Perry’s boss, Durden said he will take no action against the deputy.
Perry was placed on administrative leave with pay while authorities investigated his involvement in the shooting death of Nathaniel Pruitt sometime after 3 a.m. May 6 outside a Walthourville nightclub.
Perry was off duty, working as a security guard for Bo Maz night club and, according to an incident report filed by Walthourville Police Officer Wade Long, Pruitt, 24, was escorted out of the nightclub by security after starting a fight. Pruitt returned, brandishing a gun, and, while walking through the parking lot, he began firing randomly.
A bullet struck Michael Fluker, a Fort Stewart soldier, in the upper leg.
Long reported he arrived after hearing Perry call for backup on the radio.
In an earlier interview, Walthourville Police Chief Tracy McFadden said Pruitt was told to drop his weapon by the deputy when he confronted him.
According to GBI’s Statesboro Special Agent in Charge Cathy Sapp, the deputy was acting as a law-enforcement officer at the time.
Placing him on administrative leave was standard practice.
Durden said he met with GBI, LCSO and Walthour Police and reviewed the case file. In the letter Durden said, “Under Georgia law, a person, as was Deputy Perry in this case, is authorized to use deadly force when he or she reasonably believes that the use of such force is necessary under the circumstances to prevent death or great serious bodily injury to themselves or a third person. According to my interviews of those involved in the investigation, the action taken by Deputy Perry was both necessary and proper under the circumstance with which he was presented … Therefore, I find no evidence of improper use of force, and this office will take no further action.”