A Hancock County Grand Jury has determined that Hancock County sheriff’s deputies acted properly in an incident last April that left a Bayside Park man dead.

“The grand jury has investigated the shooting of Lawrence Bottoms by officers of the Hancock County Sheriff’s (Office) on April 29, 2019,” according to a report filed in Hancock Circuit Clerk Kendra Necaise’s office on Tuesday.

“After full and deliberate consideration of all the facts and circumstances …,” the report said, “the grand jury finds no criminal conduct on behalf of the officers involved … and further finds that their actions were appropriate.”

The incident occurred at around 2:30 p.m. on Monday, April 29, after a sheriff's Special Response Team attempted to serve a high-risk warrant from Baton Rouge against Bottoms at an elevated duplex on East Neshoba Street, Sheriff Ricky Adam said at the time. Deputies had received a tip that Bottoms may have been selling narcotics at the residence, Adam said.

Deputies first evacuated the family next door, Adam said, before firing tear gas into Bottoms' residence. A woman exited the residence after the tear gas was administered and she was quickly taken into custody, Adam said. However, he said, when deputies breached the front door, Bottoms jumped out a back window in an attempt to escape.

As deputies pursued Bottoms, Adam said, the suspect turned and pointed a 9mm handgun at them. The officers then shot him and, although deputies administered CPR, he was declared dead at the scene.

After the grand jury examined all the facts of the case, it determined that “no further action is warranted.”

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