PTC man with gun shot dead by Coweta deputies

Tue, 11/25/2008 - 5:23pm
By: The Citizen

An armed Peachtree City man died Saturday evening after he was shot by Coweta County sheriff’s deputies investigating a suspicious person call on McIntosh Estates Lane, less than a mile due west of Falcon Field in Peachtree City.

John Drage, 42, was inside a 1997 Lincoln Continental with the windows rolled up after 11 p.m., officials said. When deputies first approached the vehicle, they spotted a gun that he was holding in his hand but resting on his lap, said Coweta Sheriff’s Maj. James Yarbrough.

After spotting the gun, deputies issued verbal commands for Drage to let go of the gun, raise his hands and get out of the car, Yarbrough said.

But Drage ignored the deputies after multiple commands, cranked up the car engine, and then raised the gun, at which point the deputies fired three or four shots, killing Drage, Yarbrough said.

“They thought their lives were in danger,” Yarbrough said.

Yarbrough said some of Drage’s family has told officials he was jobless and may have been depressed.

The two deputies have been put on administrative leave pending an investigation into the shooting. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is working the case and all evidence has been turned over to the GBI, Yarbrough said.

Neighbors reported hearing the deputies shout the commands before any shots were fired, Yarbrough said.

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sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 5:18pm.

As is the norm when someone dies a violent death, the following scenario generally applies in the following order:

Phase 1: The "usual suspects" criticize either the cops or the dead guy(s), depending on whether or not a crime was committed or a firearm involved.

Phase 1b: If the perpetrator is/was/might be non-white, the usual thinly veiled racial commentary is posted.

Phase 1c: If the perpetrator is/was/might be a non-citizen, the usual "seal the borders" commentary is posted.

Phase 2: Flood of new registrations, all of whom knew the victim and/or perpetrator,attended church and/or school with perp or victim, all telling us not to pass judgment and/or what a swell guy the victime and/or perpetrator was. Police dept may or may not be blamed at this point.

Phase 3: the usual suspects fire back, criticizing newcomers' spelling, grammar, position, friends, victim, and/or perpetrator.

Phase 3a: If police were criticized in Phase 2, police officer or spouse will register and complain about lack of understanding regarding law enforcement activities.

Phase 3b: Police groupies will then proceed to lavish praise on law enforcement.

Phase 4: After 60 days or so, upon release of "official findings", this thread will be bumped again and phases 1 through 3 replayed all over again.

Phase 5: If drugs, alcohol and/or mental illness was involved, this thread will be bumped again 2 years later by Scientology spammers hawking links to their purported "cures".

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 6:47pm.

Someone makes a comment that is mistaken by a reader as racial and gets so upset that he/she threatens the editor with a visit by a well known group.
Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Submitted by kt1477 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 4:38pm.

I am deeply saddened for 2 reasons. (1) we lost a very sweet man on Saturday night. (2) the responses people are giving with regards to his death.
People have a right to express their opinions but when they do so without even knowing the entire story is extremely ignorant! I personally knew John Drage and he was a very sweet and kind man with very nice things to say. He had no job and being at the holidays was depressed. I highly doubt the fact that he was pointing the gun even in the remote direction of the officers, he just wasn't that kind of person.
So yes, bless the hearts of the officers involved and their families (as someone so kindly pointed out), but even more than them, bless the heart of John Drage and his family and friends. I am quite sure they are in need of blessings at this time!

wow06's picture
Submitted by wow06 on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 6:12pm.

Speaking of nutjobs,,,crazy comments from a few here. Suspect was a nice person to be around. Seemed a bit off, but you never would have had reason to suggest this would happen based on interacting with him for a few hours a week. It's sad for his family and the deputies that felt they had to use deadly force. There shouldn't be any off the wall comments unless you knew the person or were there in my opinion. It's unfortunate he paid for the mistake with his life. Pay attention to signs people give off, maybe this won't happen to someone you know.

Submitted by reader71 on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 9:31pm.

I am saddened by the responses posted to this story. Anyone who is familiar with clinical depression knows that it is a dibilitating disease. You all obviously have no idea what you are talking about, otherwise you would have more compassion. I sincerely hope none of you ever have to deal with the suicide of a loved one. This is a tragic story for all involved, including the officers. "Good riddance?" Sick indeed!

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 9:01pm.

Well, my friend, it's true I never got the opportunity to know the deceased guy, I sure he was quite a peach if you got to know him well. My problem with him, though, was the fact that he pulled a gun on two police officers. Now, I'm arguably the most liberal guy on this board, I'm against the death penalty 95% of the time, but I DO have a problem with a guy pulling a gun on two police officers.

You might say, in fact, that this guy forfeited the general feeling of goodwill that I am predisposed to give my fellow man by my Christian faith and liberal mindset when he opted to put the lives of those two officers in jeopardy.

Submitted by kt1477 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 4:44pm.

I did get the opportunity to get to know the deceased and he was a very good man! I was not there for the incident but I highly doubt that he (with the character, and morals he had) would pull a gun on the officers. There have been several instances where officers in error pulled a gun on someone and killed them; and afterwards we heard that they did nothing to deserve it!
Being a man of Christian faith - as you pointed out - you would realize that you are in absolutely no position to judge him in any form what so ever! It is God's job to judge in the afterlife...not yours for any reason!
Having said that, in our continued prayers for the Drage family, I will pray for you to have some compassion in your heart for hurting people and their families.

Submitted by momof4 on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 10:33am.

Go to the website above and pick the criminal search....Type in Drage and you will see the charachter of this man!!!!!

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 8:06pm.

I just spent the past hour on that website....what a treasure trove of criminal gossip about Fayette residents!

Sooooo, Drage got himself arrested 12 times since 1999? Whew! Now granted, "Fishing without a license" is probably not harmful to the public, but the two DUIs and three weapons charges (one occured at a school) were a bit more serious. I notice Scott Ballard was his attorney of choice back in the day. I don't know what Drage was depressed about, he'd just beaten a public drunk/assaulting a police officer charge! A "not guilty" trial in a sea of "guiltys".

Plugged in virtually everyone I know in Fayette, got some interesting results. I was surprised that some of my neighbors showed up, a few bloggers here and certain McIntosh teachers seem to have no respect for posted speed limits in Fayette county!

(psst...try typing in some Citizen bylines for extra chuckles!)

Submitted by MYTMITE on Thu, 11/27/2008 - 12:15am.

I kept trying to get on the site and couldn't? Could you possibly put it in as a link?? Thanks

Submitted by blazing2006 on Thu, 11/27/2008 - 6:43am.

If you go to and then go to court docket. Click on criminal search and then type in last name - Drage. You will see this guy was an utter dissapointment and scum. Long rap sheet. No angel. I wonder what he was doing parked in a subdivision in sharpsburg ? Maybe stalking someone. Probably. I still am in shock that some people are getting on here defending him and saying he was a good guy.Give us all a break. He was scum. A drain on the taxpayers and his family. I also noticed that he was already a convicted felon back in 2001 when he was arrested for carrying a weapon. So apparently he had a rap sheet from another county and/or state. His rap sheet goes back to 1999 in fayette county alone. This was a good guy? I don't think so.

Submitted by skyspy on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 9:59pm.

I'm telling you they target me because of the make and color of the car. Some of it is my fault .....but.....

I have to say I get more warnings from GA state patrol than our sheriffs dept.

I followed the same link. I can't believe this guy was out on probation. Why bother letting him go? You know he was going to be back in a matter of days.

Submitted by blazing2006 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 5:36pm.

I also knew John. Not real well mind you. But I know this family and John well enough to know he was a troubled man. He had no license, couldn't hold a job, couldn't stay clean and sober and for years has had run-ins with law enforcement. I feel terrible for Don and Irene and his brother Tod. And while this may sound cold, I am sorry, but when I heard about this I was unfortunately not surprised. Yes, usually when most people saw John he had a smile on his face but it was usually drug or achohol induced. No one will ever know whether this was suicide or not. Poor decisions in life were his downfall and ultimaetly his demise. And by the way kt1477, he actually ran into the police cruiser according to the report in the Newnan Times paper. The toxology report, I am 100% positive, would show John had more than one substance in him. Morals and character were not high on his priority list. If you really knew him you would know this. Maybe you were his drinking/drug buddy, I don't know. Please don't make it sound like John was a saint and this was the police officers fault. It wasn't. Guaranteed!!!!

Submitted by reader71 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 7:47pm.

Nobody is perfect Blazing, but we should let friends and family remember him at his best. Have some respect, please.

Submitted by iDidntDoit on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 5:10pm.

I knew John also. The reason he was without a job is because he couldn't stay out of jail.

Submitted by TomCat on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 3:58pm.

There will be 3 families who experience a very different Thanksgiving. Thankfully, the deputies were not hurt - physically. Remember: "Let's be careful out there".

"The Cat is loose...."

Submitted by forteiii on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 3:36pm.

Rule #1. Always obey verbal commands from the gentlemen in law enforcement uniforms. Good riddance. I guess he's not "depressed" any more.

sniffles5's picture
Submitted by sniffles5 on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 3:24pm.

Classic Suicide By Cop.

The sorry bastard lacked the guts to kill himself, he had to drag two deputies into doing the job for him.

Submitted by skyspy on Mon, 11/24/2008 - 3:45pm.

They will probably not sleep well for a while because of that nutcase.

Submitted by kt1477 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 4:47pm.

Both of you are disgusting! Do you have any idea what it's like to lose someone? How heartless can you be? If you lost a loved one how would you like to read something like this about him/her? Why don't you practice some self control and think before you speak (type)! Just FYI...He was a very nice man, not a sorry bastard!

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 7:13pm.

I did almost lose my brother a paramedic/firefighter because of a drunk/druggie just like this. I was actually being nice in my original comment, ...but since you provoked we go....

My brother was in the hospital for over a year. He had over 30 surgeries to repair the damage that was done by a worthless drunk. Both of his wrists, hands, legs, pelvis, forearms, and facial bones were shattered. He still has some permanent disability. I really do not feel sorry for your friend or people like him.

I'm sorry your friend did not get the help he needed.

I'm grateful those two brave cops are still alive. I think it is sad that they (the 2 cops) will have to live with the nightmares of this for a long time. I am thankful that no innocent person was hurt or killed in this crazy act.

Submitted by reader71 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 7:45pm.

So I guess if you have a substance abuse problem/addiction, then you are a worthless human being? I'm sorry, but I happen to think every human life is precious. I'm betting that this man had family that loved him, despite his problems. I guess everyone in your family must be perfect, Skyspy. Lucky you - or rather lucky them - because it sounds like your love is conditional.

Submitted by skyspy on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 9:19pm.

My family was very lucky.!! My brother survived an attack by someone with severe problems. Someone who had no regard for his life or any other person's life.

When you threaten innocent lives because of your out of control behavior, you are a liability to society. It is a shame any of this happened.

Submitted by blazing2006 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 8:25pm.

that John was loved by his family. I also believe that people with substance abuse problems are NOT worthless. Skyspy doesn't believe that either. John had many other issues on top of that. I probably wouldn't have even commented to begin with on this thread if people had not commented about what a great guy he was or tried to make it sound like he was a guy of high character or morals. HE WASN"T... PERIOD. Did he have good traits? Yea, probably. But they were always overshadowed and drowned out by the bad decisions and bad character traits. You're right, no one is perfect, but John was far far far from it and very seldom even tried. Now let it go.

Submitted by reader71 on Tue, 11/25/2008 - 11:10pm.

"Do not judge, or you too will be judged."

Submitted by jimsells on Wed, 11/26/2008 - 10:34pm.

You have to judge. You do it every day. Society would collapse if we judged no one. How about "Do not condemn!" Many lives are saved when people judge. If I may talk in general as I know nothing of this man, let's take your average run of the mill alcoholic. He eventually will ruin his health, family, job and die prematurely if no one intervenes. Tell him what he is doing to all the previously mentioned over and over. Tell him he is harming his family. Tell him he is going to die. Tell him he is a drunk and should be in AA daily. That is judging. Do nothing so as not to judge and you're no friend. I would rather occassionally be called a nosy judgemental jerk than have another friend or family member die and ask myself "why didn't I say something.

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