DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - An off-duty U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer shot and killed a man in a Walmart parking lot, police confirmed Monday.
Douglasville police said O.L. Jones shot 45-year-old Johnathan Liddell, of Austell, outside the Walmart off Thornton Road before 1 p.m. Sunday with plenty of people in the parking lot. Police found Liddell dead inside his car.
There is no confirmed motive nor a timeline and witnesses said Liddell never got out of his car.
Channel 2's Rikki Klaus spoke with a witness Sunday who said he heard Jones yell at his wife to grab his badge. Channel 2's Nicole Carr learned Jones had his wife and children with him in a personal car during the trip to Walmart.
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“I look over to see what it was, and I see the guy yelling at the other guy, telling him to put his hands up, and he had his gun drawn on the guy in the car," Eric Wright said. "He was reaching for a gun and that's why he shot him."
Carr spoke with Liddell's estranged stepmother Monday.
"Johnathan has the sweetest spirit, the sweetest heart. So what has happened, I have no idea. But only God can answer. He's with the Lord now," Sylvia Liddell. "When the body dies, truly life go back to God, 'cause God say can't nobody take a life but him."
Most of Johnathan Liddell's family members said they learned of his death when they turned on the news Monday morning.
"I tell you something. Them people that's out there killing people. Hell exists," Sylvia Liddell said.
There are no charges or arrests at this time as the investigation continues.
A spokesman for ICE southern region office sent the following statement to Channel 2 Action News and our partners at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution:
“On Feb. 17 an off-duty officer with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) discharged a personally owned firearm in Douglas County, Georgia, resulting in the death of one person.
"The ERO officer was not on duty at the time of the incident and was traveling in a personally owned vehicle with his wife and children. Douglasville police and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the incident. Additionally, ICE's Office of Professional Responsibility investigates ICE officer-involved shootings in coordination with our law enforcement partners. Due to those ongoing investigations no additional information is available at this time.”
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