Rumors circulate around Euharlee shooting
by Jason Lowrey
Feb 21, 2014 | 8785 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In the wake of Christopher Roupe’s death Friday, Feb. 14, during the serving of a warrant, rumors have circulated online and in the media as to what the 17-year-old was holding in his hand when he opened the door.

While some outlets have reported Roupe was holding anything from a can of roach spray to a Nintendo Wii remote to a BB gun, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation maintains Roupe was holding a handgun.

In a statement released Sunday, GBI spokesperson Sherry Lang stated Roupe “opened the door with a handgun pointed at the officer.” When asked Wednesday as to the type of handgun Roupe was holding, Lang said, “I do not [know].”

Lang confirmed the cause of death was a gunshot wound.

According to a Euharlee Police Department incident report, two officers were at 937 Euharlee Road, Lot 5, to serve two warrants. The charges were received from the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office and were on Joseph M. Roupe and Brittany N. Roupe. According to Roupe’s obituary, Joseph M. Roupe is his father.

Roupe’s obituary also stated he was a student at Woodland High School, adding he was planning to enter the Reserve Officer Training Corps. However, according to the U.S. Army’s website, ROTC is a college-level elective intended to provide students with leadership training. The service’s high school-level program is Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps, according to www.usarmyjrotc.com, which is also geared toward leadership development. However, Woodland High School does not offer a JROTC program.

Rumors concerning Roupe planning to enter the Marines have circulated as well. A Marine Corps recruiter operating in Cartersville stated the corp cannot speak to students until the summer before their senior year.

Euharlee police Chief Terry Harget said he could not comment on his department’s warrant service procedure, the use of tasers in the department or how often EPD had been at the address. He could only confirm police had been at the residence before.

The officer-involved shooting could affect policy going forward, he said.

“Policy is always in review, and if we can update and make [it] better — we’re going through accreditation,” he said. “We’re there, we just have to — by the end of March we should be accredited. So we’re going through right now for accreditation.”

Accreditation, Harget explained, is done through the state and confirms a police department is operating according to a set standard.

“It means we do procedures according to standard good practice. That’s the biggest thing. It’s a proven form of policing, a proven form of doing our job,” Harget said.

EPD has been undergoing the accreditation progress since February 2013.

Caron Yates, who manages the Eagle View Mobile Home Park with her husband, Ken, said she was familiar with the Euharlee officer who shot Roupe.

“And the police officer, I know her. I’ve talked to her a number of times. She’s an incredible person — smart, well-trained, obviously. She has over 11 years of experience. There’s no way she would have pulled that trigger unless she felt she was going to die,” Caron Yates said.

According to the officer’s personnel file with EPD, she was employed with Acworth police for more than 10 years from 2002 to 2012, before being terminated “for exhausting medical leave.” At the time of her dismissal from Acworth Police Department, according to her application, she was the crimes against children detective. She was hired with EPD in June 2013.

Her file also states she was investigated in 2003 for conduct unbecoming and was investigated again in 2009 for shooting at the suspect of a home invasion.

Prior to working for APD, the officer worked for Bartow County Sheriff’s Office from 1999 to 2001 as a peace officer before quitting in the middle of a shift due to a leave request being denied. Before working at BCSO, she served as a dispatcher for the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office.

The officer’s training history indicates she has a total of 2,056 hours of training from 1999 to 2013. Her status with the State of Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council is “in good standing.”

Ken Yates believed some blame rested with Roupe’s father.

“I feel bad for Chris because Chris was a good kid. He was polite. He was always personable, always talked to people, and, like I said again, people need to know and understand that if the father followed through with his adult responsibilities, the police officer would never have entered his house. He basically hid in that trailer and only came out when he had to,” he said.