The incident happened on Feb. 17 and surveillance footage shows O.L. Jones step out of his car and shoot 45-year-old Johnathan Liddell in the parking lot of the store.
Douglas County District Attorney Ryan Leonard said he worked with the Douglas County sheriff and Douglasville chief of police and determined Jones was justified in the fatal shooting.
“What he did is not unlawful, and it doesn’t cause us to question his motives,” Leonard said.
Jones was reportedly headed to Walmart to go grocery shopping with his wife and children, when he and his wife felt that Liddell was following them and feared for their safety.
Jones pulled into a parking space and Liddell parked next to him, surveillance footage shows. Jones then stepped out of his car and fired through Liddell’s rear right window, striking him once in the chest. Liddell was found dead in his car by investigators.
Leonard told the station that evidence indicates that Jones fired after he noticed Liddell was pointing a gun at him. Jones told investigators that when he stepped out of his car, Liddell was turned around in his seat, holding a gun.
“(Liddell) was shot in the chest,” Leonard said, “and the only way to get shot in the chest by a man standing behind him is to be turned around, facing him.”
The weapon found in Liddell’s possession was reportedly an airsoft gun. According to, Leonard it appeared to be a real gun, and the Jones’ concern for their safety was understandable.He said Jones responded “reasonably” in the situation, according to standards used to determine if use of force by a law enforcement officer is justified by law.
“It doesn’t mean you have to respond perfectly. It doesn’t mean that you have to respond beyond question or beyond reproach,” Leonard said. “It is a low standard.”