GBI NEWS RELEASE
On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the GBI was requested by the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office to conduct an Officer Involved Shooting (OIS) investigation involving a Thomas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy.
The initial investigation revealed that a Thomas County Sheriff’s Office Deputy attempted a traffic stop on US Hwy 319/Georgia Highway 35, at approximately 8:30 p.m. The driver of the vehicle, Stephen Joe Clark, age 45, of Boston, Thomas County, Georgia refused to stop. Thomas County Deputies pursued Clark to Georgia Highway 122 where Deputies initiated intentional contact with Clark’s vehicle in an attempt to stop Clark. Clark continued to flee and traveled to Skyline Drive where Deputies initiated another intentional contact with Clark’s vehicle. Clark’s vehicle spun and stopped in the roadway on Skyline Drive. A Thomas County Deputy exited his patrol vehicle and attempted to utilize his Taser to stop Clark.
Clark drove away striking the Deputy with his vehicle and pinning him between a patrol car and the van he was driving. A second Deputy on scene, fired his pistol at Clark. Clark was not struck, but the van he was driving was. Clark sped away, continuing to flee from the Deputies. The Deputy that was struck by Clark’s vehicle was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries where he was later released after examination and treatment. Clark eventually wrecked his vehicle into a residence on Sheppard’s Way a short distance away. Clark fled on foot and actively resisted arrest by the Thomas County Deputies. Clark was finally arrested and then transported and booked into the Thomas County Jail. It was later reported that Clark was found to be in possession of suspected drugs on his person during the booking process at the Thomas County Jail. Those charges are being handled by Thomas County Deputies. The Thomas County Sheriff’s Office Deputies in this investigation have been identified as Deputy Ben Cooper and Deputy James Sellers.
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