UPDATE: Police identify officers called to dispute that led to Little League coach's fatal shooting

Police say husband shot at officers, two returned fire

benw@ledger-enquirer.com and chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 6, 2013 

Columbus police have identified the three officers called to a domestic dispute that led to Wednesday's fatal shooting of Eulice Troy Kelley on Oates Avenue.

The officers were Dustin Randall Allen, Christopher Martin Greenhaugh and Chad William Haynes, the police department disclosed in a news release this afternoon. Authorities have not said which officer fired the fatal shot.

The "three Columbus Police Department Officers have been placed on Administrative Leave with Pay as a result of this incident," the release states.

Kelley, who was a Pioneer Little League coach, died of a gunshot wound to the chest at 4716 Oates Ave., Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said. An autopsy will be performed this morning in Atlanta.

According to the Polk County (Fla.) Sheriff’s website, Kelley has been in legal trouble before, starting with an arrest in 1993 that included charges of DUI, possession of marijuana, criminal mischief, assault on a law enforcement officer and fleeing to elude police.

In 1994 he was caught for allegedly driving with a suspended or revoked license. He again was charged for a DUI, criminal mischief and assault. He also allegedly was in possession of cannabis.

In 2002, he was charged with domestic violence battery, disorderly conduct, resisting officer with violence, three counts of battery and five counts of aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer. The database said he was arrested Sept. 7, 2002, and was released Oct. 24, 2002.

He again was arrested July 19, 2003, and charged with three counts of domestic violence battery and disorderly conduct.

The last charges found on the database come in February 2004 when he was charged with violating probation, aggravated assault on a law-enforcement officer and resisting officer with violence.

Wayne Smith, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation from Wednesday's shooting, said three police officers who were present at the scene of the 3 a.m. domestic dispute were interviewed Wednesday. “Two fired and one did not,” he said.

Four separate incident reports listed aggravated assault offense from Wednesday's shooting -- one listing his wife as the victim and three others listing officers Greenhalgh, Haynes and Allen.

The officers confronted the 44-year-old man in the front yard. “The suspect fired a weapon at the officers who returned fire and struck the suspect,” police said in a statement.

Police said no officers or witnesses were injured.

The GBI was on the scene about 10 a.m. investigating the shooting. The GBI will determine if the officer used appropriate force.

Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said Wednesday morning it is a tragedy any time an officer is involved in a shooting, and that the officer in question would be put on administrative leave.

“My understanding is that it resulted from a very violent domestic dispute,” she said. “The police were called and responded to a very volatile situation, ultimately, of course, resulting in the loss of the suspect’s life. We will await the findings of the GBI. They’re already on the case, interviewing people and collecting evidence.”

District Attorney Julia Slater also was at the home, but said her office was not investigating. The district attorney has to clear all officer-involved shootings, and she said she wanted to see the scene.

According to reports released Thursday, Wednesday morning’s altercation started when Kelley "unlawfully entered" his wife's home, with whom he was not living at the time, Smith said. He entered through the back door.

The woman ran out of the house to the next-door neighbor’s home, and police were called.

When police arrived, the man had custody of his wife and two guns — a shotgun and a rifle, Smith said. “He turned one of the weapons on the officer, and the officer defended himself,” the agent said.

A puddle of blood pooled Wednesday morning in front of the carport to the right of the house. Oates Avenue is sandwiched between Manchester Expressway and River Road, near Columbus Technical College.

Slater and Smith spent some time in the neighbor’s front yard, which was also taped off as part of the crime scene. They were about 40 feet from where the man died, pointing back at the carport.

Smith said the GBI had completed interviews of the officers. They are still awaiting for results from the autopsy, which will include blood chemistry to determine if Kelley had drugs in his system or a pre-existing health condition that could have contributed.

“I believe our active investigation will be completed probably by the middle of next week with the interviews and things of that nature,” Smith said. “We will be waiting for lab results beyond that unless something comes up.”

According to a Facebook profile for Troy Kelley, he was a 1987 graduate of Spencer High School. His wife posted this message on the social media website Wednesday afternoon:

“Heaven received a beautiful angel today. I lost my husband my best friend. We may have had are differences but i love you with all my heart! I miss you so much! I know you will always be watching over us! Wish i could hold you one more time! I will always love you!”

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