Bobby Daniels, 48, was shot dead by a sheriff's deputy
The sheriff says he pointed a gun at an officer; his family says that's not true
Family's attorney: "He was trying to protect the officers"
Authorities are investigating a shooting in an Atlanta suburb that left a security guard dead and his family pushing for answers.
Officials have said a deputy in Douglas County, Georgia, opened fire after a gun was pointed at him.
But a lawyer representing Bobby Daniels’ family says the 48-year-old off-duty security guard never pointed a gun at officers and was struggling to stop his son from getting a hold of the weapon when a deputy shot him dead last Monday.
“Bobby Daniels was trying to not only save his son, but he was trying to protect the officers that were out there also. …. He was a victim in this situation, a good Samaritan that tried to save the officers, tried to save his son and ended up catching a bullet for it,” attorney Chris Stewart told reporters.
Daniels was a corporal for Turner Security, which provides security at properties including CNN Center.
GBI: Deputies responded to kidnapping call
According to a statement released by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation last week, deputies first responded to the Arbor Village Mobile Home Park in Douglasville, Georgia, after a 911 call reporting a kidnapping. A security guard at the park told them he’d been held at gunpoint there for 45 minutes.
Family attorneys say Bobby Daniels showed up at the scene, too, trying to stop the situation from escalating further. At the time, Stewart said, Daniels believed his son – later identified by authorities as the kidnapping suspect – was having a breakdown as part of a bad reaction to drugs.
Authorities and family members have given different accounts about what happened next.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said deputies first tried to get Bobby Daniels and his son, Bias, to drop the weapon, shouting verbal commands.
“As the fight continued between Bias and Bobby, the handgun was pointed at the deputies, at which point one of the (deputies) fired, striking and killing Bobby,” the statement said.
Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller told CNN affiliate WSB that Daniels could have been trying to do the right thing.
“I think that he could have been trying to help the situation instead of hurting it, but when he pointed a gun at the officer, he was shot,” Miller said.
Widow: ‘He would never do that’
Stewart told reporters that claim isn’t true – and isn’t fair.
“I appreciate that the sheriff’s department acknowledges that Bobby Daniels was trying to help them, but in the same statement, they’re going to say ‘but he pointed a gun at them’? That contradiction speaks volumes. It speaks volumes to the contradiction of this entire situation by saying that this is Bobby Daniels’ fault in any way,” he said.
Cynthia Daniels, the security guard’s widow, tearfully told reporters the explanation from officials doesn’t add up.
“My husband would never, ever take a gun and point it an officer,” she said. “He would never do that.”
Lt. Glenn Daniel, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, declined to comment on the case Sunday, referring questions to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. A spokesman for that agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last week, the agency said it was conducting an independent investigation that would be turned over to prosecutors when completed “for any action they deem appropriate.”
Bias Daniels is being held without bond on charges of aggravated assault, kidnapping, obstruction and marijuana possession, according to official records. Stewart, the family’s attorney, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday.
Last week, Stewart showed a picture of the 25-year-old wearing a cap and gown at a graduation ceremony, telling reporters that portraying him as a “hardcore criminal” was unfair.
“That’s just not true. From what we understand, he had a bad reaction to some chemical, and that’s what made him start hallucinating and have the weapon,” Stewart said. “And his father was just trying to talk him down and control the situation, like any good dad would do.”