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Man trooper shot had long criminal past

Timothy Morris

Timothy Morris

COVINGTON -- The Oxford man who was shot and killed by a Georgia State Patrol trooper Wednesday afternoon when he threatened the officer by claiming to have a gun was no stranger to local law enforcement.

At the time of his death, Timothy Steven Morris apparently had warrants that were outstanding from Walton, Morgan and Newton counties, which may have been the reason the 33-year-old tried to flee when the trooper attempted to make a traffic stop.

Newton County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Keith Crum said Morris' name was well-known to NCSO deputies.

"We've had dealings with him at least 13 years," Crum said.

Over the years Morris had been arrested on a laundry list of offenses, which included burglary, escape, interference with government property, theft by taking, theft by taking auto, possession of marijuana, obstruction of a law enforcement officer and parole violations.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections website, he had been incarcerated in state prison several times for a 2004 offense of interference with government property. He received parole, but kept re-offending and was sent back to prison and was most recently released in January of this year.

The ill-fated traffic stop was attempted around 3:15 p.m. Wednesday on Gum Creek Road when the trooper alleges he spotted Morris speeding.

"The vehicle fled and turned into a drive off Gum Creek Trail," said Gordy Wright, GSP spokesman. "The driver fled on foot into a wooded area with the trooper in foot pursuit."

Wright said Morris was cornered and told the trooper that he had a gun while having his hands in his pockets.

"The trooper fired when the suspect made a sudden move," Wright said. "The suspect was taken to Newton Medical Center where he died around 4:30."

Wright said knives were found on Morris.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the circumstances of the shooting.