Man fatally shoots self in I-575 standoff

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CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. - Authorities say an armed man officers were looking for near Interstate 575 in Holly Springs has shot and killed himself.

Holly Springs police identified the shooter as 30-year-old James Woods, Jr. of Toccoa, Ga.

Dozens of law enforcement officers are at I-575 southbound between Canton and Sixes roads, which officers closed to respond to the situation.

The incident began around 7:30 a.m. when Woods pulled over on the side of I-575 and went inside of his trunk. A witness told Channel 2's Amanda Cook that the man, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, crossed two lanes on the interstate and went under a bridge.  A passerby saw him sitting there, holding a gun to his head and called 911.

"It's not a normal call, but we're going to handle it just like we would handle any other hostage situation, whether he's holding himself hostage or someone else," said Holly Springs Police Lt. Tanya Smith.

A frightened passerby recalled what she saw.

"We were driving and there were a bunch of cop cars, fire trucks, and there were all (of) these guys with all (of) these huge guns. And we were like, 'What in the world!' It was really scary," one girl said.

Officers and hostage negotiators provided assistance at the scene, but Woods eventually took his own life around 9:30 a.m..

Officers said Woods' gold car was filled with military gear.

Authorities have re-opened I-575 southbound between Canton and Sixes roads.

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