10-year-old Douglas boy shot by Coffee County police as deputy fires at dog

July 12, 2014

A 10-year-old Douglas, Georgia boy was shot by a county deputy during the arrest of a suspect in a case where a dog was also involved. WALB News reported the story July 11.

The situation of how young Dakota Corbitt was shot by a Coffee County Sheriff’s Office deputy remains unclear.

Christopher Barnett, 19, was denied bond at a hearing Friday afternoon after being arrested and charged with aggravated assault on a police officer. It’s believed Barnett took a shot at a Douglas Police officer Thursday morning after being involved in an armed robbery at Flash Foods in the City of Douglas prior to the officer being shot.

Sheriff Doyle Wooten reported an unnamed deputy was approaching the property looking for Barnett when a dog ran up to him. The deputy fired his weapon, missing the dog and hitting the child.

Dakota’s sister, Janelle Rich, spoke with WALB Friday afternoon about the shooting. She told news media she was inside the home when she heard the gun go off. The family tried to stop the bleeding with a towel.

“I ran out the house with one of my kids and saw my little brother on the porch pouring blood.”

Coffee County Sheriff’s Department released a statement on their Facebook page

“Investigators with all local agencies worked all day to gain information to identify and locate Barnett. During the arrest the juvenile received a gunshot wound to the leg. Due to the fact that it was an officer involved shooting and the local GBI agency was involved in the arrest of Barrett, GBI agents from the Eastman and Kingsland GBI offices responded to investigate the incident. It is our understanding that the injury was not life threatening and the Juvenile was taking to Savannah for precautionary reasons. Our prayers are with the juvenile and his family and also our officer that was involved.
This case is presently under investigation and when the investigation is complete we will update with a full report.”

Police were able to arrest Barnett at a nearby pond on Burton Road. The person who lived in the home said he was sitting in a chair like he didn’t have a care in the world.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation in Eastman was called to investigate the shooting, as it’s unclear how and officer missed hitting the dog and shooting Dakota instead.

As for Dakota, he was taken to Savannah Memorial Hospital for surgery, but his mother said further examination revealed the bullet did not hit any major arteries. Fortunately, the bullet entered from the back of his knee and out of the front of his leg.

Corbitt was treated at Savannah Memorial hospital and was later released.

Barnett was arrested without further incident. Originally from Florida, Barnett has an arrest record that covers 32 pages.

It’s surprising the number of people commenting ‘good job’ on the Coffee County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page. Especially since the worst fear to those who follow the cases of dogs shot by police is that an officer will accidentally shoot a child. Your department has made that fear a reality.

Contact information is listed below.

25 Thompson Drive
Douglas, Georgia 31535
Always open
Phone (912) 384-4227

How do the readers feel? Do you consider this department as doing a good job? Please leave a comment.




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