BETHLEHEM - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is examining an incident in which a Barrow County Sheriff's deputy shot and killed a woman who reportedly threatened him with a shotgun.
Maj. Murray Kogod, Barrow County's chief deputy, said he is confident the investigation will show Cpl. Trent Taylor followed correct procedures during the confrontation.
"The deputy had his life and the lives of the other deputies and those of the people in the house to protect," Kogod said. "He had a job to do, and I am confident he followed policies and procedures to the letter."
Deputy Jim Briscoe was dispatched to a home at 861 Briscoe Mill Road in response to a reported suicide attempt about 4 p.m. Nov. 1., Kogod said.
Louise Wise, a home health professional caring for 53-year-old Deborah Brumbelow's elderly mother, called 911 after Brumbelow reportedly took a handful of pills.
Brumbelow threatened to cut herself with a knife if Briscoe didn't leave, Kogod said.
Briscoe backed off and called for backup, according to the police report. When a second deputy arrived, the two went in the house where Brumbelow held a knife and continued to threaten to kill herself. At one point, she dropped the knife and picked up a hammer, telling the deputies she had a gun, police reports said.
When Cpl. Taylor and another deputy arrived, Brumbelow went into the bedroom and picked up a gun, according to reports.
"She made a move toward Cpl. Taylor with the weapon in hand and had it raised as if ready to shoot," the police report said. "Cpl. Taylor fired twice striking Ms. Brumbelow in the abdomen."
"Cpl. Taylor shot her as a response to her actions," Kogod said.
Brumbelow was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where she died Nov. 3 from the gunshot wounds. GBI officials are awaiting the outcome of an autopsy to determine the number of times she was shot and the results of a toxicology report to identify if drugs played a part in Brumbelow's behavior, said John Heinen, special agent in charge of the GBI's Athens office.
Barrow County Sheriff's officials always ask the GBI to investigate officer-related shootings, Kogod said. The case was turned over to the GBI the same evening, Heinen said.
"It's not uncommon for local law enforcement agencies to call us in (to investigate officer-involved shootings)," Heinen said. "We are an impartial third party. The results of the investigation will be submitted to the district attorney and he will decide whether or not to do anything on the case."
It is the policy of the Barrow County Sheriff's Office to place deputies on administrative leave involved in shootings and to require them to submit to a psychological evaluation, Kogod said.
"He was on leave about three days and he received a psychological evaluation, and it came back fine," Kogod said.
A search of Barrow County Sheriff's incident reports revealed almost 30 calls to Brumbelow's home since 2002. Brumbelow was arrested in April on a family violence charge, according to an official with Barrow County's records department.