Eyewitness claims Highway 136 suspect did not point gun at GSP trooper
The man shot by a Georgia State Patrol (GSP) trooper in Dade County remains in critical condition.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said Brandon Vitier pointed a gun at Trooper Joe Geddie before he was shot several times. The GBI said it all started with a traffic stop. According to a press release, Geddie caught Vitier speeding and tried to pull him over; Vitier kept driving.
Vitier has an extensive criminal history. The 31-year-old has faced a long list of charges out Hendersonville and Sumner County, Tennessee. Those charges range from theft to assault and DUI.
Eyewitness Davis Bethune was helping two customers Thursday afternoon when he says two speeding cars drove onto his lot. One of them was a Georgia State Patrol car driven by Geddie. Vitier was driving the car Geddie was chasing.
“That trooper got in front of him somehow and just pushed him, Bethune said. “It was sickening. I've never seen anything like that. I've seen it on TV, but I've never seen it real.”
Bethune said Geddie rammed Vitier's car and forced him to stop.
“He just opened the door and stepped out and put the gun on top of the door and aimed it right at that guy and just started pop, pop, pop, pop, pop.”
The GBI said Vitier pointed a "replica gun" at Geddie through his car window, prompting Geddie to fire several times.
Bethune said he did not see that happen, nor did he see Vitier with a gun.
“It was his right hand he was waving, and I guess he was wanting him to stop, you know, stop shooting. I don't know why you would shoot that many times at somebody unless you had committed a murder or something. If it were me, I would have let him go,” Bethune said.
A spokesperson for the GSP would not comment on Bethune's eyewitness account and referred us to the GBI. We are waiting for a response.
This is not the first time Channel 3 has reported on Geddie. Last year, a woman filed a lawsuit against him, claiming he threw her down and slammed her head to the ground when she showed up to the scene of a crash involving her daughter. A judge determined Geddie was immune from legal action. The woman's attorney tells Channel 3, he has filed an appeal.