GBI identifies man who died during officer-involved shooting at Lake Lanier

Witnesses describe seeing man with rifle before driving into Lake Lanier

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A man is dead after leading police on a wild chase that ended with him crashing into Lake Lanier.

Police say the chase started when the man crashed in Gwinnett County and then carjacked a driver.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating after the man started shooting at officers as he crashed into Lake Lanier, according to Gwinnett County police.

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On Saturday, the GBI identified the suspect as John James Monahan, 26, of Ellabell, Georgia. They said an autopsy has been scheduled for Monday morning.

Police say the man was involved in a crash just before 5 p.m. Friday on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Shadburn Ferry Road. He jumped out of the car with a rifle and ran from the scene. The other people involved in the crash suffered minor injuries.

Witness Colin Evans said he was right along the suspect’s route.

“Obviously it’s not something you expect, but he was on the run.”

The man then carjacked a nearby car and took off.

Officers chased him into Shoal Creek Park, where police say he opened fire at officers. The officers fired back on the car, which then rolled into Lake Lanier. Police say the suspect continued to fire shots as the car sunk into the lake.

Police confirmed to Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon that the suspect is dead inside the car in the bottom of the lake. Dive teams have been called in.

The carjacking victim and officers were not injured.

Police are investigating a crash happened just before 5 p.m. Friday on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Shadburn Ferry Road.
Police are investigating a crash happened just before 5 p.m. Friday on Peachtree Industrial Boulevard and Shadburn Ferry Road. (Gwinnett County Police Department)
Officer-involved shooting at Lake Lanier
Officer-involved shooting at Lake Lanier (WSB-TV)