Man's death ruled suicide, but family says evidence points to homicide

WALKER COUNTY, Ga. — A family is demanding answers after they say their loved one’s death should not have been ruled a suicide.

DJ Fickey died in October 2016. The Walker County Sheriff’s Office said his death was suicide by shotgun.

The GBI was called in to investigate and ruled the death a suicide.

“We told them from day one this is not a suicide. You need to investigate this,” said Fickey’s sister, Amanda Shirley. “Nobody will listen to me. They think I made it up and I am crazy.”

After the GBI’s investigation, Walker County changed its investigation to a possible homicide.

Detectives said there were inconsistencies with a person of interest who called 911.

Channel 2 Action News obtained the 911 call in which the person of interest tells the operator there's a guy who shot himself.

“I tried to get the gun and it went off,” the person said.

A polygraph test would later suggest that the person of interest lied about his role.

In another 911 call, the operator instructed the person of interest to secure the weapon.

“Can you unload it safely and get it to the side out of the way?” the operator asked.

A private investigator for the family hopes to get the case reopened.

“None of the crime scene photos have the shotgun next to DJ. The crime scene photos have the shotgun on the table,” private investigator Eric Echols said.

Shirley said she won’t sleep until justice is served for her brother.

“I won’t stop fighting for my brother until the day I die,” she said.

Channel 2's Lauren Pozen contacted the GBI, and officials there said they stand by their initial ruling of suicide.