SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – The Savannah Police officers who fatally shot the man who killed Sgt. Kelvin Ansari were justified in using deadly force.
That’s the unanimous decision of a Chatham County Grand Jury.
Jurors cleared Officer Austin Foraker of any wrongdoing in connection with the shooting and they were against filing any criminal charges.
Sgt. Ansari was shot and killed by Edward Fuller back on May 11. Fuller was the suspect in an armed robbery just minutes earlier in downtown Savannah.
Body camera footage shown to the grand jury shows Fuller popping out from the back of a car and opening fire on Ansari, hitting him in the leg. Officer Douglas Thomas was also hit in that shooting.
Fuller was able to escape as officers tended to Ansari, who was hit in his femoral artery and eventually bled to death.
With the help of several witnesses who saw him jump a fence, officers tracked Fuller to a shed behind a home on East 39th Street.
That’s where officers, led by Cpl. James Lyttle and his K9, as well as Officer Foraker, went to the backyard with weapons drawn to attempt to arrest him.
Fuller decided to run and the body camera video shows his gun pointed at the officers as he tried to flee. Foraker fired several shots, hitting and killing Fuller.
The grand jury said that Foraker “had probable cause to believe that Fuller had committed a crime involving the infliction of serious harm to Sgt. Ansari and believed that deadly force was necessary to prevent his escape.”
“When police went there they found that he had actually changed clothes,” explained Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap. “They found evidence from the armed robbery, jewelry that had been taken previously. They also found him with a loaded gun that was tied back to the murder of Sgt. Kelvin Ansari.”
Fuller’s gun was determined to be the one that shot and killed Ansari and wounded Officer Thomas. That evidence also connected him to the robbery earlier in the day.
“The officers, when they responded to the scene, they never had a chance to draw their weapon before two people were shot and one died,” said Heap. “They know now that the suspect was deadly because he had just shot and killed someone. They didn’t know where he was, how many guns he had, whether he had any people with him.
“So they are going into a scene not knowing any information just that someone is out there shooting and killing people.”
Blood tests showed Fuller had cocaine and alcohol in his system at the time of the shooting. Investigators also found a “large quantity” of controlled substances, including heroin, hydrocodone and methamphetamine in the back seat of the car he was sitting in before shooting Ansari.
Heap says witnesses told investigators he also planned out at least one crime that deadly night.
“Civilians testified that he had a grudge against the victim, which is why the police responded, to begin with, in the armed robbery,” Heap said, adding, “He told them, in fact, that he was going to do something and ‘watch me on the news tonight.'”