D.A. David Cooke: Suspect indicted, three Crawford County deputies cleared

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – The man accused of shooting at three law enforcement officials at a Crawford County convenience store has been indicted, and the deputies involved in the shootout have been cleared of any wrong doing.  Macon Judicial Circuit District Attorney David Cooke tells 41NBC a grand jury has formally charged 31-year-old Rickey Smithey.

"The indictment alleges that Mr. Smithey attempted to murder three law enforcement officers with a military style assault rifle by shooting at them," said Cooke.

Smithey is facing three counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, three counts of criminal attempt to commit a felony, three counts of aggravated assault on civilians, and five counts of possession of a firearm.

The incident happened on March 14 at the Racers Gas convenience store, located at the intersection of U.S. Highway 80 and Olive Grove Church Road.  Captain Johnny Cleveland says he and two other deputies had no other choice but to protect themselves when Smithey starting shooting at them.  Cleveland spent three days in the hospital.  Lieutenant Keith Edwards and Deputy Delane Hill were not injured.

After reviewing all of the evidence and talking to witnesses, Cooke told reporters he decided Cleveland, Edwards, and Hill were not at fault and will not face any charges.

The GBI is continuing its investigation into the deputy-involved shooting.  Investigators say they found more than 70 shell casings at the crime scene.

Smithey is being held in the Crawford County Jail without bond.