Officer's shooting of man in Fort Oglethorpe deemed "justifiable homicide"
by Mark Andrews
District attorney Herbert “Buzz” Franklin said the shooting death of a Rossville man by law enforcement in Fort Oglethorpe in June was “justifiable homicide.”
Toxicology tests revealed that John Coates had methadone in his system at the time of the shooting, said Franklin, who is district attorney for the Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit, which serves Walker, Catoosa, Chattooga and Dade counties.
Coats, 34, was shot and killed during a confrontation on June 24 with two officers in the parking lot of Chik-fil-A on Battlefield Parkway in Fort Oglethorpe. The officers pulled over Coates in an attempt to serve warrants from the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.
Coates was wanted on warrants for felony aggravated stalking, misdemeanor harassing telephone calls and misdemeanor violation of a temporary protective order.
Walker County deputy Terry Miller was serving the warrants. He called for backup from Fort Oglethorpe police and officer Mitchell Moore responded.
During a struggle with the officers, Coates retrieved a handgun from his vehicle’s glove box and shot Moore in the back. Miller fired in defense and hit Coates. Coates died from a gunshot to the head.