Walker County sheriff Steve Wilson said he agrees with how officers handled serving the arrest warrants that ended in a gunfight Wednesday in a Fort Oglethorpe Chick-fil-A parking lot. Wilson said his deputy followed department protocol, as well as Georgia law, during the incident.
Deputy Terry Miller was looking for John Curtis Coates, 35, of Rossville to serve a warrant for aggravated stalking. He spotted him driving along Battlefield Parkway around 9:45 on Wednesday, June 24, Wilson said. Miller called for backup, and Fort Oglethorpe police officer Mitchell Moore arrived, the sheriff said. The officers tried to arrest Coates, but he resisted. The resulting gunfight ended with Moore in the hospital with a wound caused by a bullet that ricocheted off his vest, and in Coates’s death.
Wilson said the officers had no reason to believe Coates would react so violently. He was not armed during any of his past charges.
Most of the charges against Coates were for domestic violence, and no weapons were involved in those incidents. The sheriff said he had nothing but praise for the officers involved and would “respect-fully disagree” with anyone who finds fault in their judgment.