Officer's shooting at Family Dollar justified

ALBANY, Ga. -- An officer who shot an armed man in the gut during a hostage-taking robbery gone bad acted to preserve and protect, law enforcement officials have determined.

"The shooting was justified based on the GBI investigation and our own investigation relative to the circumstances of the robbery," said Greg Edwards, Dougherty Judicial Circuit district attorney.

"No charges will be made and I've already advised the (Albany Police Department) chief that the officers involved can resume their normal duties."

The officers involved in responding to the robbery of a Family Dollar store on July 12 were assigned administrative shifts until the review was finished, Edwards said. This is normal in cases of an officer-involved shooting, he added.

Once police investigated the robbers and the hostage, the reports read like a strange family affair.

Police were at the store parking lot at 1030 W. Gordon St. to investigate a car crash. Someone told the officers that the store was being robbed.

Facing two armed robbers, who police have identified as Randell Harris and Christopher Raines, both 20, police drew their guns, reports stated.

Harris, armed with a sawed-off shotgun, took Jamaica Harris Jones, 25, a store clerk hostage, police said. It was learned later that she is Harris's sister. It didn't matter.

"All bets were off," said Detective Eddie Jones, no relation to the woman. "Her brother took her hostage with a gun to her head."

In the attempted escape from the store, Raines, armed with a realistic-looking toy gun, was shot. Both men were apprehended and Jamaica Harris Jones was freed without more shots being fired.

Having a toy gun in the commission of a crime has the appearance of deadly force in the pursuit of that crime, Edwards said. Deadly force can be used in response, he added.

Raines was released from a hospital to the Dougherty County Jail's medical facility, a jail spokeswoman said.

A further investigation of Jamaica Harris Jones, police say, found that although she may have been a reluctant hostage, she had been in on planning the robbery.

All three remain in jail without bond on charges including armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.

In a final twist, Boazack Jones, 32 -- Jamaica Harris Jones's husband -- also is in jail. He is charged with the armed robbery of the same store on Jan. 23.