Peach County, GA – Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney Anita Howard, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) Special Agent in Charge Jerry Jones, and Peach County Sheriff Terry Deese will hold a joint press conference on Monday, October 16, at 11:00am Eastern Time to update the public on a recent officer–involved shooting. The event will be held at the Macon Judicial Circuit DA’s Office in Macon, Georgia.
In the afternoon of Tuesday, October 10, 2023, a Peach County Sheriff’s Deputy attempted to pull over the driver of a Honda Accord EX for a traffic violation. The driver, 20-year-old Caleb D. Hooten, did not immediately stop and a vehicle pursuit ensued. Mr. Hooten eventually stopped, got out of his car and took off on foot. After a short foot pursuit, the officer fired his weapon and shot Mr. Hooten who was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly thereafter.
The GBI was called and immediately took over the investigation. District Attorney Howard was notified and toured the scene that same afternoon. Today, District Attorney Howard, GBI Special Agent in Charge Jones, and Sheriff Deese met to review body cam and patrol car video.
The GBI is conducting an independent investigation and will turn its findings over to District Attorney Howard for legal review to determine whether any violations of the law occurred. Sheriff Deese has pledged his Department’s full cooperation.
“This is a tragic situation for all involved,” said District Attorney Howard. “The loss of anyone’s life hits the community very hard. I want to assure the people of Peach County that this investigation will be conducted professionally, thoroughly, and as transparently as possible. Both the GBI and my Office are independent of the Sheriff’s Office. While we work together closely, this investigation and the legal findings will be made without fear or favor. We will follow the process and let the evidence and the law determine the outcome.”
Officer–involved shooting investigations take time. On Monday, GBI Special Agent in Charge Jones will outline his process for conducting these types of investigations. District Attorney Howard will also share the role of her organization to ensure the public has a clear vision of how these independent investigations occur. To protect the integrity of an ongoing investigation, law enforcement will not be answering questions related to the details of the evidence. They will only answer questions regarding the process of the investigation. The name of the involved sheriff’s deputy will also be released on Monday.
Correction 2023-10-16: An earlier version of this Press Release incorrectly stated Mr. Hooten’s age. The correct age of Mr. Hooten was 20 years old, not 22 as previously reported.