GBI called in to investigate fatality in RCSO shooting incident

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

CONYERS -- Few details were available Thursday in connection with a shooting incident in which a Rockdale County Sheriff's deputy fatally shot a man at Lakeview Estates.

In a prepared statement, the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office said the shooting happened in the early morning hours Thursday when a deputy responded to a disturbance call at a residence on Frontier Drive.

The Sheriff's Office refused to release the name of the male victim, but said the man was swinging a 3- to 4-foot piece of wood when a deputy arrived at the residence.

"The man ignored repeated commands to drop the piece of wood and charged toward the deputy with it raised in his hand," the press release said.

The deputy fired at the suspect, fatally wounding him.

Emergency medical personnel responded and took the victim to Rockdale Medical Center where doctors pronounced him dead.

The RCSO also did not release the deputy's name, but said the deputy has been put on administrative leave with pay during the investigation.

Lt. Myra Pearrell declined to answer any questions, saying the Georgia Bureau of Investigations is handling the investigation.

She said in the press release that Sheriff Jeff Wigington requested the GBI investigation as RCSO standard procedure.

GBI spokesperson John Bankhead told the Citizen that the GBI medical examiner will conduct an autopsy Friday morning and the victim's identity may be released after the autopsy. Bankhead also declined to answer further questions.

"It is an ongoing investigation," Bankhead said. "The GBI is only confirming that agents are investigating the incident at the request of Sheriff Wigington."