Authorities say Pell City Police Officer Vincent Warrington was cleared of any criminal actions involving the Nov. 12, 2009, fatal shooting of Barry Bush, 41, of Pell City.
Warrington was no billed by a St. Clair County grand jury, which convened last week in Pell City.
“The grand jury concluded there was not a criminal act,” said Marcus Reid, Etowah County chief deputy district attorney, who presented findings of the investigation to the St. Clair County grand jury last week. “The grand jury issued a no bill.”
Reid said he was restricted from talking about specific grand jury testimony but said the investigation into the shooting was extensive.
He said the Alabama Bureau of Investigation interviewed all witnesses who had first-hand knowledge of the shooting, and ABI’s investigation included interviews with people who knew the victim.
“They did an exhaustive investigation,” Reid said.
He said the Alabama Department of Forensic Science also examined all physical evidence related to the deadly shooting.
ABI investigated the incident because a police officer shot and killed Bush during the execution of a search warrant at the victim’s residence in the Shadydale Mobile Home Park.
The St. Clair County District Attorney’s Office also recused itself from the investigation and grand jury presentation at the request of the victim’s family.
“Based on this request, my office’s participation in the drafting of the search warrant and my desire to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest, I am recusing my office in this matter,” St. Clair County District Attorney Richard Minor wrote in his Dec. 22, 2009, letter to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.
The Alabama Attorney General’s Office granted Minor’s request to recuse his office and appointed Etowah County District Attorney Jimmie Harp or his designated assistant district attorney to handle the case.
According to the initial search warrant obtained by the Pell City Police Department and filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court, it was alleged that illegal controlled substances were being sold from Bush’s residence.
An inventory filed with the Circuit Court by the ABI of listed items found and seized at Bush’s residence included one cartridge casing, two bags of green-brown plant material, a pistol, a rifle and $100 cash.
Shortly after the shooting incident, St. Clair County Coroner Dennis Russell said Bush died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
Pell City Police chief Greg Turley said Wednesday there are no winners in this tragic incident.
“Some people see the grand jury decision as a step towards closure,” Turley said. “This is something that is far from closed. This will remain difficult for the victim’s family, the community, the department and the officer as well.”
Turley said he has not received official confirmation of the grand jury’s decision but when he does, the department will put a plan in place.
Since the shooting, Warrington has remained on administrative leave with pay, pending the outcome of the investigation.
Warrington was not available for immediate comment Wednesday.
“Cases like this are so difficult,” Turley said. “It’s difficult for everybody.”