Sheriff Hill: 2 deputies to be fired, 1 demoted over Oasis fatal shooting incident

Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill. 

JONESBORO — Sheriff Victor Hill says he will fire two deputies and has busted a lieutenant down to deputy for what he called "malfeasance of duties" in the fatal Oasis Event Center shooting. Hill also said he plans to forward the investigation to the District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution.

In a Nixle post early Tuesday, Hill said he was "disappointed" that three deputies — a sergeant, a lieutenant and a captain— handled the incident "in a manner that is not in accordance with the standards of the Clayton County Sheriff's Office."

Juan Perez Salazar, 27, died after police say he attempted to break up a fight between Jorge Beltran, 17 and another person at the Oasis Nov. 16. Beltran allegedly shot Perez Salazar during the altercation. 

Hill said the sergeant and captain had been working the event off-duty "without agency approval. When the altercation began to occur, a citizen asked them to come inside and respond to it. When they came inside and the fatal shot was fired, both deputies turned around and fled out of the door along with the fleeing crowd. To make matters worse, both of them failed to render aid to the victim."

Hill continued, "Later when a Sheriff's Office lieutenant arrived on the scene and was made aware of their cowardly behavior, he failed to make proper notification to the command staff."

The lieutenant was downgraded two ranks and removed from field duty, Hill said.

"We have always the sheriff's police here, until 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.," Joel Coronel told the News. "Because basically it's the last hour when we worry about something happening, you've got people drinking or something."

Beltran is being held on a charge of malice murder and made first appearance before Clayton County Magistrate Court Judge Sonya George Tuesday. He was not granted bond. His preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 12 at 8 a.m. in Room 203.

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Crime and Safety Reporter

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