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DA says Gainesville Police justified in firing at suspect

By Derreck Booth Anchor/reporter
GAINESVILLE - Hall County's District Attorney released a statement Tuesday saying he believes two Gainesville Police officers were justified in firing shots at a suspect on August 20.

The suspect, Tracey Marie Dean Seidel, 42, of Oakwood, was shot by officers after she allegedly hit them with her vehicle. She allegedly drove off after the initial early morning incident at Skelton and Bowman Roads and was arrested a short distance away.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) spokeswoman Sherry Lang last month said Seidel apparently did not have her headlights on, prompting the initial traffic stop.

Seidel reportedly suffered serious injuries in the shooting. The officers suffered what Gainesville Police Chief Brian Kelly earlier called non-serious injuries from being hit by Seidel's vehicle.

As is standard procedure in officer-involved shootings, the GBI looked into the matter and filed its report with Darragh for review.

"It is my considered opinion that Officers (Bryan) Woods and (Peter) Bartholomew were legally justified in discharging their firearms during the incident resulting in injury to Tracey Marie Dean Seidel," Darragh said.

"In that the officers acted appropriately in doing so, this office will take no action other than the continued prosecution of Ms. Seidel who has been charged with crimes related to the incident, with the officers as witnesses," Darragh added.

Darragh said he notified the GBI and Gainesville Police Department of his decision Tuesday.

Seidel, meantime, faces a list of charges related to the incident, including DUI and two felony counts of obstruction.
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