Driver killed following chase, shootout with police, GBI says

AUBURN, Ga. — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Barrow County Sheriff’s Office say a police chase ended with a deputy shooting and killing a man.

According to the GBI, a Barrow County deputy attempted to pull over a man driving a Ford Fusion around 5:15 a.m. in Auburn, when the driver took off.

When the driver reached the intersection of Bradford Park Lane and Browns Bridge Road, the driver lost control of the car, hitting a power pole.

Investigators said the man then looked out from the car holding a handgun.

Deputies said the driver threatened to shoot himself if the officers approached him.

“It was a constant trying to communicate with him,” said GBI Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox. “That just took some time…that entire time was them trying to deescalate the situation.”

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The GBI said the officer yelled several times for him to put the gun down and at some point, the driver started shooting at them.

That was when Barrow deputies fired back at the driver, hitting him. The man was rushed to a nearby hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Witness Steve Mitchell told Channel 2′s Steve Gehlbach that he could hear the commotion unfolding outside his home.

“My son actually heard the crash and when I woke up, I heard screaming,” Mitchell said.

Mitchell said he couldn’t see what was happening but heard screaming.

“I was just praying. Do what they say, man. Please dude, put it down or whatever. Going through my mind was, ‘Man, do what they say. Then it got silent. He said something and couldn’t hear what he said, then shots, bunch of shots. Me and my son just hit the deck at that point,” Steve Mitchell said.

Investigators said there was a woman in the car as well. She crawled out and immediately surrendered to police. She was taken to a nearby hospital to check for injuries and was later taken into custody.

Authorities said the driver had warrants out against him in another county, but did not say for what.

An autopsy will be done on the car driver.

None of the deputies or officers involved were injured in the incident.

The GBI said once its investigation was done, it will be handed off to the Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review.