DEA Agent Who Fatally Shot Mentally Ill Neighbor Returns to Work. Questions Remain.

By Allan Lengel

DEA Agent Harold Duane Poole, who was arrested in 2021 on a murder charge for fatally shooting his mentally ill neighbor in Crystal Springs, Miss., has quietly returned to work in Jackson, the Associated Press reports.

Harold Duane Poole (Photo from Beaumont Enterprise)

His return comes after a grand jury declined to charge him, even though questions remain.

Poole admits fatally shooting his neighbor just minutes after calling law enforcement to report the man was trespassing on his land – yet again – “out of his mind” and threatening him with a rock, AP writes. The neighbor was struck in the chest, gut and hip.

Jim Mustian of AP notes that sheriff’s investigators were skeptical of Poole’s self-defense claim, mostly because he mentioned in his call for help that the trespasser was already leaving. Also, no rock was found at the scene. The local prosecutors, the DEA nor Poole declined to comment to AP.

“No citizen could have done what this DEA agent did and walked away,” said W. Lloyd Grafton, a use-of-force expert who reviewed the investigative case file at AP’s request.

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