In a 700-page report prepared by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, District Attorney Garry Moss ruled that he found no reason to prosecute Yarbrough.
Included with the report were three videos Messina recorded on his iPhone to document the early evening stand-off in his home in the Eagle Watch subdivision, which started after his mother called 911, saying the teenager had threatened her after a fight the two had over his school grades and friends. The videos total about 30 minutes and show Messina’s loaded .357 Magnum revolver, which he points towards his head in the last video.
Toxicology reports reveal that Messina’s blood tested positive for sertraline, an anti-depressant, and a had an alcohol content of 0.132.
“In my opinion, it’s clearly a synergistic reaction between those medicines and that alcohol that contribute to the tragic circumstances of that day,” Sheriff Roger Garrison said in an interview Monday.
Maj. Ron Hunton wrote in his account that three negotiators went close to the Messina’s front door in an attempt to engage Messina, who would not speak with them over the phone.
“Messina was drinking and Sgt. (Charles) Westbrook felt that (Andrew) was trying to build up his courage to either hurt himself or engage law enforcement — forcing law enforcement to hurt (Messina),” Hunton wrote.
Westbrook also reported to investigators that Messina pointed a gun at Westbrook “a number of times” and that Westbrook told him at least twice not to do so, Hunton wrote in the report.
Yarbrough told investigators that he felt compelled to shoot because he believed Andrew was shooting through the glass door at negotiators and other deputies near the front door.
Yarbrough said he saw Messina’s hand holding the revolver, extended out towards negotiators and then heard “two loud pops” he believed were gunshots.
However, Andrew’s gun never went off, Hunton said in the report. Andrew hit the front door with his gun but failed to break the glass, then hit it again and broke through before pointing his gun through the broken windowpane at the nearby investigators, Hunton said in the report.
Yarbrough then shot Messina in the abdomen. Messina was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.
“It is my opinion that the shooting death of Andrew Messina was a justified use of force by law enforcement,” Hunton said in the report.
Garrison said Yarbrough is in training this week and will return to active duty next week. He has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, Garrison said.
According to the GBI report, the case is closed.
Messina’s mother did not return calls for comment.