Tenn. Cops Vindicated After Firing 59 Shots at Suicidal Ranter

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. -- A prosecutor says no charges will be filed against Chattanooga police officers who fired 59 gunshots at an armed man who had been ranting about suicide in his neighborhood for hours.

Hamilton County District Attorney Bill Cox said he made the decision based on a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation report that shows officers had reason to fear death or serious harm from the actions of 32-year-old Alonzo Heyward.

Police have described Heyward's death on July 18, 2009 as a case of "suicide by cop."

The medical examiner found 43 bullet wounds in Heyward's chest, face, arms, hands, legs, buttocks and groin. Police have said he was a danger to others and threatened the six officers.

An attorney for Heyward's family, Archie Sanders III of Memphis, didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.