Drug store robber dies

Photo by Howard Reed

Photo by Howard Reed

COVINGTON -- The man who police say robbed a Covington drug store of morphine and then led them on a chase before turning a gun on himself Wednesday afternoon died Thursday morning.

Evan Tyler Erickson, 32, of 367 Oak Hill Road died at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta where he was taken after police say he shot himself in the head.

Erickson had gone into Chip's Health Mart, formerly known as The Medicine Shoppe, at 2155 Pace St. around 1:15 Wednesday, brandished a gun at the clerk and demanded morphine in pill form, according to Covington Police Department spokesman Capt. Ken Malcom.

He fled the store, but CPD officers caught up with his black Honda Accord on Ga. Highway 142 and attempted a traffic stop. They said Erickson refused to stop and a chase ensued, ending up on Roy Dial Road, a dead end. As police closed in, Erickson shot himself.

"Officers reported he raised the weapon, pointed it at his head and pulled the trigger," Malcom said.

The suspect was transported to the Atlanta trauma center.

"The county (Newton County Sheriff's Office) had received a call the day before from the family asking for everyone to attempt to locate him and do a welfare check to make sure he was OK," Malcom said. "The family thought he might pose a danger to himself."

Malcom said it did not appear that Erickson was suffering from a disease or medical condition that necessitated taking morphine.

"He was just having some problems ... I really don't have information on that part of it," he said. "Fortunately, no other people were injured or hurt during this incident."