Stacey Jackson: Witnesses say CSU police shot unarmed man

spedersen@ledger-enquirer.com and lgierer@ledger-enquirer.comMarch 30, 2014 

Columbus State University police shot a 20-year-old man to death Sunday afternoon at an apartment complex on the university's main campus.

But the university's account does not match that of the deceased's family.

Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said he declared Zikarious Jaquan Flint dead at 3:29 p.m. in the Midtown Medical Center.

CSU spokesman John Lester said campus police at 2:35 p.m. were told a man at the Courtyard 1 North apartment complex was putting bullets into a gun, and officers confronted the suspect minutes later.

They chased him to where he turned the corner of a building, faced the officers and raised his arm, so they shot him, Lester said.

According to attorney Stacey Jackson, a spokesman for the Flint family, three witnesses said Flint was running away when he was shot.

"The three witnesses that I spoke to said Mr. Flint was running away, and he didn’t have any type of weapon in either of his hands while running," Jackson said Sunday night.

Authorities haven't named the officer or said how many times Flint was shot. But Jackson said Flint's parents told him their son was shot twice.

The family initially wasn't able to see their son, but "after hours of waiting, the coroner did allow the family to see the body at the hospital," Jackson said.

"They did talk to some medical personnel that described his injuries to him. One shot hit in the back with an exit wound on the stomach. Another shot to the neck-head area where the lower part of the head meets the lower part of your neck. The bullet went through his mouth and may have even broken his jaw."

The body will be sent to Atlanta for an autopsy.

Jackson said Flint was with a group visiting friends who were CSU students. He wouldn't say why Flint might have run from police.

"I can't answer that right now," he said. "There's some more detail I would like to get from the preliminary results."

Jackson said Flint's family told him Flint had no felony history, and Muscogee court records show no prior offenses.

Homer Flint, Zikarious' father, said Monday that his son had never been in trouble and was planning to move to Jacksonville, Fla., this summer to attend Tulsa Welding School.

Besides CSU police, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation will probe the shooting because police fired the fatal shot.

“This is a terrible tragedy,” CSU President Tim Mescon said in a news release. “We will cooperate fully with the investigation by the GBI. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved in this, as well as their families.”

This story has been corrected to add the family did see Flint's body after hours of waiting.

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