COWETA COUNTY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - The family of a man left in critical condition after a deputy-involved shooting are calling the encounter “unjustified.”
The shooting happened June 30 in the parking lot of a Newnan shopping center after Coweta County deputies said a driver, 34-year-old Nicholas Bolton, almost hit them with a car. Bolton was rushed to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition after a gunshot wound under his right eye, according to Tanya Miller, an attorney for his family. He is still in critical condition, but has since been stabilized. He has undergone several brain surgeries and is on a ventilator.
“Every day he is fighting for his life even more,” his brother said.
Relatives said they've been on edge since the shooting. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation released the deputy’s body camera video of the incident. The sheriff's office said Bolton was sleeping in his car when deputies asked for his ID. He refused and sped off, deputies said.
"Uou can either talk to us...turn the car off, turn the car off," the deputy can be heard on camera telling Bolton.
After a brief pursuit and a PIT maneuver, two different body cameras capture the shooting.
Bolton's family insist it was unjustified.
“I really thought it was going to end once he was boxed in,” his brother said.
Later on the scene, the deputy, who the sheriff’s office identified as John Collins, described what happened on the body camera.
"He wouldn’t get out...I put one on him,” he said.
“At the time, he tried to describe events, I believe when you look at the video closely they are contradictory by his statement,” said Miller.
The car was not moving it had come to a rest
“He is a person full of joy we love him we just want everybody to just stand in prayer with us. Its not a simple thing,” Bolton’s father said.
Bolton's attorney said he has been homeless for a few years and that's why he was sleeping in his car. The situation should've never escalated.
FOX 5 News has reached out the Coweta County Sheriff's Office to get their reaction to the family's statements. They responded by stating they had no changes to its original statement last week which called the shooting justified and necessary.
The GBI is handling the investigation.