Family of Whitfield Co. man killed by deputies believes shooting - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports


Family of Whitfield Co. man killed by deputies believes shooting wasn't justified

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The family of a Whitfield County man shot and killed by deputies believe the shooting wasn't justified. 

Deputy Brad Mathis and Sgt. Shawn O'Mahoney fired their weapons after a chase ended on Maddox Mill Road in November. The driver, Brett Noblitt, was killed when Sheriff Scott Chitwood said Noblitt revved his engine and started moving toward a deputy. 

The Whitfield County District Attorney ruled the actions of the deputies were legally justified in a report after a four month investigation.

READ MORE | UPDATE: D.A. says Whitfield Co. officers justified in fatal shooting; family disagrees 

Noblitt's family says dash cam video from the incident raises even more questions. They shared the video with Channel 3. 

The final report from District Attorney Bert Poston says Mathis pursued Noblitt's white Jeep because it was reported stolen two weeks earlier. 

But the same report notes the theft case was cleared two days after the theft report was made after a detective confirmed Noblitt was considered a joint owner. 

Noblitt's brother Franky Ward believes the report doesn't reflect what the video shows, like the number of times Noblitt's Jeep made impact with patrol cars. 

"For one, when they say he rammed police cars, in the video, you obviously see that he didn't. They pit maneuvered him, or tried to," he said. 

Ward's biggest discrepancy comes seconds before deputies fired their weapons. 

The report states O'Mahoney crossed in front of the Jeep to arrest Noblitt, but states Noblitt revved his engine and drove forward, nearly hitting him. 

It goes on to say it's not known if Noblitt was trying to strike O'Mahoney or trying to escape. 

But Ward says the video shows O'Mahoney beside the vehicle instead. 

"If it's a straight shot, like they said, then the officer would have had to be standing here. And you see in the video that the officer wasn't standing here," he added. 

Noblitt was killed with Mathis fired shots from behind the Jeep.

READ MORE | Whitfield County deputies shoot and kill suspect after chase 

While we may never know why Noblitt chose to run from deputies, Ward believes it wasn't a reason to kill his brother. 

"Nobody understands what happens in situations like that. Nobody understands what was going through my brother's mind. Nobody understands what was going through what was going through the officer's minds," he said.

Both of the Whitfield County deputies involved in that shooting were cleared of any wrongdoing and allowed back on the job three days later. 

Sheriff Scott Chitwood tells Channel 3 he is pleased with the outcome and is moving forward.

Stay with as we continue to follow this story. 

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