“Based upon the relevant facts, the death is a justifiable homicide,” Franklin said Tuesday morning in a news release.
Nineteen-year-old Nathan Lee Trew of Apison, Tenn., was fatally shot April 17 by veteran detective Jeremy Keener of the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office during a standoff in which police tried several times to negotiate and reason with the teen.
Trew suffered one gunshot wound to the chest and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.
Franklin said he met with special agent James Harris of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which investigated the incident, two days after the shooting to review information and assess the circumstances surrounding the case.
“From the evidence gathered, it appears the 19-year-old Trew suffered from a drug addiction, which led him to be estranged from his family and to commit a series of burglaries in The Meadows subdivision in Catoosa County,” Franklin said.
“There appears to be nothing factually to merit the consideration of any criminal charges against any individual arising out of the tragic death of Nathan Trew,” Franklin said. “Had Trew survived, he would have been charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer in addition to the burglary charges.”
Deputies showed up at The Meadows subdivision off Ooltewah-Ringgold Road shortly after 3 p.m. on April 17 af-ter a 911 call was received that a man, later identified as Trew, was seen leaving a residence carrying two duffle bags.
The standoff with police ensued, which involved Trew yelling to police that he was “not going back to jail.”
Several officers tried to convince Trew to lower his weapon, but those efforts were unsuccessful as Trew pointed the shotgun at his head and threatened to kill himself, reports show.
According to Catoosa County sheriff Phil Summers, Trew drew the gun on officers but on more than one occasion was talked out of firing.
“Officers attempted to negotiate with the individual, but he refused to drop the guns and a verbal standoff be-gan,” Summers said in the hours following the incident. “The suspect had a stolen handgun in his pocket in addi-tion to the stolen shotgun that he had pointed at officers.”
After more deputies arrived on the scene, a total of five officers had Trew cornered, at which time he raised his gun at police again, reports show.
Detective Keener shot Trew one time.
Keener was placed on paid administrative leave following the incident, which is standard protocol for an officer involved in a shooting. Keener is eligible to return to work now that the investigation has concluded.