ATLANTA - A former Atlanta police officer who was fired after he shot and killed a man during a car break-in investigation has turned himself in to face charges in that death. James Burns reported to the Fulton County Jail Saturday morning. He was ordered held without bond.
Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced Friday that Burns faces charges of Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of Violation of Oath in the death of Deravis Caine Rogers.
The shooting happened on June 22 in the 2100 block of Monroe Drive. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, an off-duty officer put out a call about a suspicious person who he thought was breaking into a car. The off-duty officer was serving as a courtesy officer at the Monroe Place Apartments.
Investigators said a foot chase followed.
Burns was one of the responding officers. He was out of his patrol car when he said he spotted the 22-year-old Rogers. According to Burns, Rogers had already entered a vehicle when Burns opened fire and shot Rogers in the head.
Medics took Rogers to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died.
Atlanta Police investigators concluded Burns used unnecessary and unreasonable force. Based on the findings of the investigation, Atlanta Police said they moved quickly to fire him.
“We determined right away that the shooting was not something the department could stand behind," Sergeant Warren Pickard told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes.
Earlier in the day, Burns’ attorney Lance LoRusso said he had planned to appeal his firing.
In his statement, attorney LoRusso said he understand the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will complete its investigation into the shooting in the next 30 to 45 days.
LoRusso said, “The loss of any life is tragic and a thorough investigation is appropriate. During this time, just like any other person who is the focus of a criminal investigation, Officer Burns is entitled to a presumption of innocence. He is also entitled to due process, the right of counsel of his choosing, and other constitutional protections afforded to all citizens under the United States and Georgia Constitutions. As has become the norm for law enforcement officers involved in deadly force incidents, Officer Burns has consulted with an attorney of his choosing. This is his constitutional right.”
LoRusso also said his office will conduct its own investigation of the incident.
There was no word from Burns' attorney following the DA's announcement Friday night.
Rogers' father, Deravid Rogers, told FOX 5 he was glad the DA moved to file charges quickly.
"I'm glad that he's the type of prosecutor who is not afraid to prosecute and investigate, and go after this type of case," Rogers said.
Burns could make his first court appearance Monday morning.