Skip to comments.Georgia Pastor, Father-to-Be Killed in Drug Sting
Posted on 09/04/2009 3:13:57 AM PDT by thecabal
Plainclothes officers shot and killed a small-town pastor when the 28-year-old father-to-be resisted efforts to question him about a passenger in his car who was the target of a drug sting, authorities said.
Jonathan Paul Ayers of Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia wasn't targeted in the probe that ended in gunfire at a gas station Tuesday, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman John Bankhead said. But drug task-force agents opened fire on him after he tried to avoid them, putting his car in reverse and striking one of the officers.
Bankhead said agents approached Ayers after he dropped a woman off at a store in downtown Toccoa, which is about 90 miles northeast of Atlanta. The passenger was the person being investigated by the task force.
A grainy surveillance video from a nearby store shows two drug task-force agents emerge from a black SUV before Ayers' small car backs up. The two men fire into the passenger side of Ayers' car, and then it takes off with the agents running behind it, the video posted on WNEG-TV in Toccoa shows. The station owner would not release the video to The Associated Press.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Sounds like an awful stiff price to pay for dropping a suspected druggie off at a store - didn’t know it carried the death penalty.
Is it your view:
That this incident is over?
That the officers can just file their reports and go home and that they don't have to justify their actions?
That there won't be a criminal investigation, lawsuits, and depositions stretching out for years?
From what I have heard here locally, they were not in uniform. That got me wondering as well. But, the woman that was with this guy, and their connections, is not at all clear. There may be a whole lot more to this story.
Of that, I am certain.
A "drug sting" and no drugs were found? Yea right.
A grainy surveillance video from a nearby store shows two drug task-force agents emerge from a black SUV before Ayers’ small car backs up.
Before the car backs up?
The first part of the story is they shot him because he backed intoone trying todrive away.
If the viseo does show them firing before the car started to move these guys are toast..
This does sound fishy to me as well. There is every reason to consider that this pastor was helping the woman and when confronted by plainclothes men wielding handguns, he might have become afraid and ran. The gas station owner told Fox News Atlanta that he had no idea that the men were police. However, you just never know. It is a story worth following, although it may be one that is never followed up on.
When I first saw the video I thought the bad guys were in the Avalanche / Escalade. I don’t blame the kid for running.
They weren't in uniform.
This man was murdered in broad daylight for attempting to escape from two strange men with guns.
Nothing new. Nothing new at all. And not the last time either. So it goes.
A link to the video might help a few posters (but of course, the usual crowd can make up their minds without video OR reading the story:
From what I could see of the video it did appear that he hit one of the plain clothes cops as he was backing up.
The question remains though, is why the cop was behind the car in the first place.
I don't care how wrong the cop on the street is, I'm going to take it up (alive, unbeaten, maybe unarrested) with his boss, after the fact.
Thanks for the link. Those guys are toast...............
It appears they were firing BEFORE that “hit”............
Two guys in street clothes, with guns, jump out of a vehicle and come at you and you’d assume they were cops?
It’s sad that a good man had to die - but it’s dangerous to hang out with drug addicts and criminals. Even for men of the cloth...
Maybe the person of interest was just a gay masseuse with meth amphetamines and he was just going to throw it away. ;)
I didn’t see it all that clearly.
You may be right. I’ll check it again.
This is a really bad situation. The whole thing was caught on security cameras. If understand correctly the victim NEVER made a threatening gesture of any sort. He was backing away when shot.
Some cops are probably going to jail for a long, long time.
Better reporting including a video of the shooting of the pastor (left) HERE.
A northeast Georgia pastor has died after being shot by agents from a multi-county drug task force.
GBI spokesman John Bankhead said 28-year-old Jonathan Paul Ayers, pastor of Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia, was not the target of the sting operation but a woman in his car was under investigation.
The shooting occurred after Ayers dropped the woman off at a store in downtown Toccoa Tuesday afternoon.
Bankhead said agents approached Ayers for questioning but the pastor tried to avoid them, putting his car in reverse before he struck one of the agents.
Bankhead said an agent shot at the car and Ayers suffered a gunshot wound to the torso. The cause of his death was pending the results of an autopsy.
The woman was charged with cocaine possession and distribution.
Ayers brother-in-law Matt Carpenter talked with News Channel 7s coverage partners at the Independent Mail and said the pastor had nothing to do with drugs.
Any question of his character, particularly involving something like drugs, is just ridiculous, he said. Ayers wife is 4 months pregnant with their first child.
The Independent Mail also published Ayers last blog entry. Before his last blog entry, Ayers had posted a two-part article on Ten Things I Cant Believe.
His list began with this entry: I cant believe that Jesus would choose me. I never deserved it! I cant believe that He would love me and want me!
The list included this entry:
I cant believe that I am going to (be) a dad. I want to apologize to the whole world because this kids going to be one messed up, Jesus loving, church going, Georgia fan if there has ever been one. I pray and hope that is at least for the first two things!
Ayers funeral is planned for 2 p.m. Friday at Shoal Creek Baptist Church in Lavonia. Strickland Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. To read more on this story, click here.
Someone should have informed Jesus about that.
I just viewed the video . . this is murder by the police, who were not in uniform.
Bloody, stinking, murder.
those two cops look like thugs....jumping out in street clothes holding guns? I’d run too....who wants to stay and get shot?
When the paramedics were treating him at the scene, he was asking who it was that had shot him? He had no idea it was cops.
I watched it several times. It was hard to make out the exact sequence of events. I am not ready to pass judgment on either one at this time.
It will be interesting to follow the story.
Ayers used an ATM at a Shell convenience store around 2:30 p.m. and the officers, who were in plain clothes, jumped out of a moving vehicle as Ayers was backing out of the parking lot.
Before he died Wednesday, with bullet wounds to his liver, pastor Jonathan Ayers asked paramedics who shot him.
Ive rerun it in my mind, Carpenter said. He had used an ATM inside, got into his car and then a black Escalade pulled up and [they] jumped out ... If they IDd themselves, he couldnt hear them because his windows were up.
The store owner, Joe Joseph, said he didnt know the agents were law enforcement officers and it looked like they were firing at each other.
Jonathan Paul Ayers, 28, and his wife, Abby,
Until I'm fully aware and clearly certain the individual in plain clothes and weilding a gun is an officer of the law, all bets are off.
More info here: http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/090409/new_489412755.shtml
Amazing Jesus lived as long as he did, what with the company he kept.
We filled up and then, when I started the car I had no guages ( all electronic). I pulled into the farthest bay and opened the hood to check fuses and connections.......my mistake.
I wound up, blocking myself from the store front. A old chevy van pulled in, the driver went inside.
The passenger yells at me that he wants a "dollar' for gas, who borrows a dollar for gas.
I told him I had my own problems today and could not spare anything., This guy says "That cadillac has made you a smart ass, we will take what you have."
I slam the fuse box & hood back down and head for the drivers seat, my wife is in the store so I am going to go get her.
Both of my dogs a mean old dalmation / grey hound and a bull dog that loves everyone popped out of the window and stopped this guy.
When I slammed the fuse box down it sparked and reconnected everything, I got my wife in the car and headed down the road..........the one thing I wanted was space.
My point is I can understand why some one would bug out of a gas station.
He brought them up - he didn't hang with them in dens of iniquity. That said, ministers assist those who seek salvation. As they should.
But, do you think that's what these drug addicts were doing at the time of this death?
Robin of Berkeley: ... So the Left detests us because,
We unveil everything they're hiding from, all the cold, cruel facts of life that render them helpless: that in the grand scheme of things, human beings are quite small; that none of us can or should play God; and that there are consequences for cruel or evil behavior.
And perhaps most of all, we trigger in their memory banks those excruciatingly vulnerable moments when the bubble burst, the truth broke through, and they were forced to look reality squarely in the face....
The 'minister' was not God... he needs to deal with evil in a rational setting.
Are you calling the pastor a drug addict? He was dropping a woman off somewhere. Hardly sounds like a reason for execution by cop.
What is the matter with you? There is no evidence he knew anything about drugs being involved, if he did, maybe he was trying to help the woman. Maybe someone just asked him to give her a ride. Maybe she attended a church event, and had no way to get home.
He sounds like a wonderful man, from his own writings. You may think he’s stupid, but I doubt that the Lord has the same opinion.
Trying to escape is a natural reaction in this situation. Alternatively, if the pastor had a CCW and drawn a weapon in fear for his life, he would have been shot down like a mad dog.
These idiot cops should never had been issued weapons. They should have stayed home watching COPS shows imagining they were real cops!
Condolences to this pastor’s family and congregation. I see no clear justification for this public execution of a citizen by plainclothes police.
Windows up means the A/C was on. I do not doubt he may not have heard.
I have watched the video frame by frame and I have a couple of questions. My questions are not meant to cast doubt on the actions of the cops. These are the situations that I try not to make a judgement one way or another because I fear tarnishing the reputation of anyone unfairly.
If I am reading it correctly, he dropped the woman off and went to the Shell station and used an ATM. I am wondering why they did not simply follow him and pull him using flashing lights. Was there any backup in the area?
Did they run his plates? If he was the registered owner of the vhicle, did they run a record check?
A couple of versions:
The agents were assigned to a task force that investigates drug cases in Stephens, Habersham and Rabun Counties. Ayers caught their attention because he was with a woman who twice sold drugs to the officers, said Bankhead.
What they saw was indicative of drug transaction, Bankhead said. They didnt know the guy. They followed him to the convenience store and tried to arrest him.
It occurs to me that at some point officers involved in the “DRUG WAR” would ask themselves if it is justifiable to shoot and kill someone “not under investigation” after approaching him in plainclothes in an unmarked SUV at a gas station.
Perhaps they might consider a less dramatic and dangerous way of approaching people, like when they are walking out of the store, or after they have driven onto the road, and doing a felony stop. At least in this methods the victim would have been aware that it was cops after him and not just two thugs and a black SUV.
But hey, if “getting drugs off the streets” is more important than the life of a 28 year old pastor and father-to-be, then these “cops” behaved according to plan.
Yeah. That's how it is. Cops get away with murder all the time.
These guys were in plain clothes. How would you know they were cops? Could have been car jackers or kidnapers in which case your advice could very well leave you dead.
I know of a cop who is doing 25 years for murder. It was one of those times a cop didn't get away with it.