DeKalb police officers indicted in 2022 fatal shooting booked into jail… Russell Mathis and Jordan Vance were granted bond

Written by Jozsef Papp | Mar 1, 2024 | Uncategorized | Print PDF

Updated 15 hours ago

Two DeKalb County police officers — one former and one current — were indicted by a grand jury Wednesday in the 2022 shooting death of a man in Stone Mountain.

Former officer Russell Mathis, 30, was indicted on charges of felony involuntary manslaughter and misdemeanor reckless conduct, while current officer Jordan Vance, 30, was indicted on a charge of reckless conduct in the death of Marando Salmon, 37, at a home on Autumn Crest Court on Nov. 4, 2022.

“There (was) bodycam footage of the incident so we were able to review exactly what happened and it became very clear to us based on everything we reviewed that there was criminal culpability by each of these officers in this particular case,” DeKalb District Attorney Sherry Boston said at a news conference.

Warrants were issued for Mathis and Vance after the indictment and they surrendered to the sheriff’s office Thursday afternoon. They were both booked into the DeKalb jail and granted bond.

Vance was released on a $3,000 bond about two hours after being booked. Mathis remained in the jail as of Thursday evening on an $8,000 bond.

According to Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council records, Mathis joined DeKalb police in May 2019 and voluntarily resigned in May 2023. He has no other law enforcement experience.

Vance joined DeKalb police in August 2015 before resigning in November 2018 and joining the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety, according to POST records. He returned to DeKalb police in February 2020.

In a statement, DeKalb police said they began the termination process for Vance on Thursday.

Boston said Mathis and Vance responded to a call that day about a stolen car parked in the driveway of a home in Stone Mountain. Vance knocked on the front door, which swung open. At that point, the officers entered and began clearing the residence, Boston said.

Mathis went to a second-floor bedroom, opened the door and encountered Salmon sitting in bed in the dark, Boston said.

“In a matter of seconds, officer Mathis opened fire, shooting and killing Mr. Salmon,” she said.

Boston said Salmon had thrown a cellphone at Mathis, who believed it was a knife. Boston said Salmon was unarmed at the time of the shooting. A holstered gun later was recovered in the bedroom.

Salmon was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital.

Boston said the GBI was called to investigate the shooting and would turn in their findings to the DeKalb DA’s office in March. Her office also investigated.

“At the end of the day, nothing that happened here in this courthouse today will change what took place on Nov. 4, 2022. A life has been lost and, for that, I extend my deepest sympathies to Mr. Salmon’s loved ones,” Boston said.

An initial statement from the GBI after the incident said Salmon was reaching for a gun when he was shot. A GBI update the month after said Salmon threw an object and was reaching for something; later, agents recovered the handgun.

Boston said Mathis testified in front of the grand jury Wednesday. Mathis’ attorney, Chuck Boring, said his client made a statement to the grand jury and was questioned by the DA’s office as well.

Boring said Mathis received some counseling after the shooting and was back on duty until he voluntarily resigned to pursue a different career.

“(The DeKalb County Police Department) didn’t discipline him or force him to undergo any additional training or anything of that nature,” Boring said.

Boring said they are already planning to file motions once the case is assigned, including one to dismiss it entirely.

Salmon’s family attended the news conference but did not speak. Boston said she is appreciative of the family willing to trust them and understanding how challenging the case will be.

“Every prosecutor handling these cases will tell you, it is not easy,” she said. “It is a challenge.”