Family and friends gathered Saturday to remember D’Wayne Burke, the man shot and killed by a Sardis Police Officer in June 2013.
Wednesday marked the 2 year anniversary of the 34 year-old’s death. His family says D’Wayne was known for loving the outdoors which is why they decided to do an annual kayaking trip.
When Burke was shot, the officer told the GBI that Burke kicked in the door to the evidence room and tried to attack him with an ax.
His parents, Diane and Robin Potter say they can’t believe that. Robin describes Burke as a fun-loving person, a big teddy bear.
“He was just a special person and he loved people and he was good to people and life will never be the same again,” she said while trying to hold back the tears.
Dianne and Robin Potter say they’ve accepted their son is gone, but they just can’t accept how it happened.
“As far as why they shot him and shot him in the back, and had to shoot him, the story they told, it just don’t add up,” Robin said.
Robin says he knows his son wasn’t perfect. Burke had gotten involved with drugs a couple of years before he died, but Robin says he knows he would never hurt anyone. The police report says differently.
“When I think about Dwayne, I think about what a person probably should do as far as enjoying life why God put us here,” Robin explained.
The Potters feel like the officer used unnecessary force, so they filed a lawsuit in hopes that their concerns will be heard.
“We’ve had to take this step basically to keep it going to keep it alive, keep somebody looking into it, and hopefully by going through this process some more things will come out,” Robin said.
The GBI Crime Lab ruled that Burke’s cause of death was from a gunshot wound that entered his back.
The family is questioning this, as well as why Burke was found handcuffed when EMS showed up.