Officers cleared in fatal shooting of Lizella woman

An investigation into the fatal shooting of a woman in Lizella by law enforcement officers has been determined to be self-defense.

The announcement came just six days after the shooting on Dec. 11, but Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke said the evidence is overwhelming.

“In this case it’s clear that the officers acted in self-defense and that the shooting was justified,” he said.

The determination came after investigation by the GBI, which is still ongoing. Cooke stated that after Kaley Dee Gay, 25, fired one shot at the officers, she was attempting to fire again when her gun apparently jammed.

Asked what he thought might have happened had the gun not jammed, Cooke said, “I don’t want to think about that.”

The shooting happened at a house on Fulton Mill Road while four members of the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Task Force were serving a warrant on Robert Braxton Williams. The task force is made up of officers from different law enforcement agencies in Middle Georgia.

The officers involved in the incident were Jones County Deputy Gerry Nelson, Bibb County Deputy Bruce Jordan, Georgia Department of Community Supervision officer Trent Swicord and a deputy U.S. Marshal who was not identified.

When they arrived at the house they saw a man and woman on the front porch, and the two then went inside the house. One of the officers knocked on the door, identifying himself as law enforcement, and when there was no response the officers broke through the door.

Williams then surrendered without incident. Nelson recognized the woman as Gay, whom Nelson knew had a warrant for her arrest. She denied that’s who she was and gave a false name to the deputy, Cooke said.

Nelson reached for her gun, and Jordan also grabbed her, but she resisted, Cooke said. Jordan placed her on the floor face down but her hands were underneath her. While the officers struggled with her, she fired a shot from a .380 caliber Taurus handgun later found concealed underneath her, Cooke said.

Swicord and Jordan then jumped back and pulled their guns. Jordan heard the sound of a slide action from a semi-automatic handgun being manipulated underneath Gay, Cooke said, and he fired two shots that struck her. She was taken to a hospital by ambulance and died of her injuries.

A live round was found at the hospital in the folds of her clothing, Cooke said, which most likely fell from the gun as she racked the slide in an attempt to clear a jam.

“In this case, it’s clear that these officers feared for their lives and acted in self-defense as is allowed by law,” Cooke said.