Police Shooting: Friends say police should never have taken fatal shot

The FOX 5 I-Team has obtained a cell phone video that captured a fatal police shooting of an armed former Marine in Henry County.

The Face Off

Last December 13, for more than eighteen minutes, an emotional Earl Eubanks, faced off with police.

Eubanks was armed with a hand gun in his right hand. He alternately cried, beat his chest, and begged police to shoot him.

“Do it,” Eubanks screamed. One officer responded, “No man, we don't want to do it.”

According to a Hampton Police report, the stand off began after Eubanks, recently divorced, stormed into a Hampton, Georgia dental office to confront his ex-wife.

Henry County Police Captain, Joey Smith said Eubanks took her outside to the back alley. Dental office staff called 911 and Hampton police responded.

“He was actually engaging her physically when the officers arrived,” says Smith, “so they visually saw him assaulting her.”

VIDEO REPORT: Fatal police shooting

According to a Hampton police report, an officer told Eubanks to “get off her and get on the ground.” Eubanks turned toward the officer, armed with a “semi-automatic handgun.” The officer tased Eubanks and he dropped to the ground.

The Eyewitness

Mike Terrell captured what came next on his cell phone. Terrell, an eyeglass lab technician, had just arrived to work when he heard loud voices in the side street behind his office. He saw Earl Eubanks on the ground surrounded by police.

For the next eighteen minutes, Terrell recorded nearly the standoff.  The video shows Eubanks was clearly distraught about his family.

Eubanks, who seemed to be shaking off the effects of the taser, could be heard on the video repeating, “It’s over. It’s over. It’s over.”

Eubanks, at one point, dropped to the ground wailing, another time, beat his chest. He once urged officer to shoot, saying, “Do it. Do your job.”

“There were moments I felt like he wanted to be shot, says Terrell, “there were moments I felt he was crying for help.”

Mike Terrell felt police officers were professional and patient as they urged Eubanks to drop his gun and end the standoff

“He did a couple of quick gestures with his hand, refused to put the gun down, he was on the ground and stood up, after being told not to stand up. Those are the things I felt like could have gotten a person shot,” Terrell said.

At one point Eubanks, an Iraqi war veteran and father of a young girl, walked into the alley. He had officers to his right, and officers to his left. The police were in each other's line of fire. A cop warned him about the danger. Eubanks, a former Marine, immediately saw it, backed up and apologized.

The Shooting

At this point in the video, Eubanks literally had his back to the wall. He repeated, “I can’t go home. It’s over.”

One the video, you see Eubanks walked straight toward armed officers. He was fifteen to twenty feet away from the officers. He thumped his chest, and yelled something. You can’t hear what he said on the video.  His gun was still in his right hand. He stared down police for nearly two minutes.

Then, the standoff ended with a single rifle shot fired by veteran SWAT team officer Justin Boggs.

Mike Terrell says simply, “I have no idea why he was shot.”

The GBI is investigating the shooting and says all evidence will be turned over to the Henry County District Attorney when the investigation is complete.

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