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Sunday May 3rd, 2015 5:55AM

Deputies used taser, bean bag round before shooting assault suspect

By B.J. Williams News Director
GAINESVILLE - Hall County authorities said Monday they did everything they could to subdue a man wielding a machete before they shot him in the hand to stop him.

Hall County Sheriff's Sgt. Mark Mitchell said deputies first encountered Justin Matthew Bennett, 27, Sunday morning at a home on Sailors Avenue in south Hall County.

"He continued to swing the machete at the deputies as he moved from that location to a location near the 2100 block of Grant Street, which is about two to three blocks away," said Mitchell.

Mitchell said the four deputies involved in the incident deployed their tasers three times and struck Bennett in the chest with a non-lethal bean bag round, and still he advanced on the deputies with the machete.

"None of those non-lethal tactics worked," said Mitchell, and that's why it became necessary for the deputy to open fire. "Mr. Bennett chose to put a lot of people at risk and you know, we have a responsibility to protect the public as well as our own officers."

Mitchell confirmed that when deputies arrived at the Sailors Avenue residence, they did find three people had suffered superficial injuries, apparently at the hands of Bennett. Charges have not been filed in connection with those injuries at this time, according to Mitchell.

After Bennett was treated for the wound to his hand at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, he was turned over to authorities, who booked him into the Hall County Jail without bond.

At this point, Bennett faces four counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer and a felony obstruction charge.


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