Man Shot by Macon Officer Identified

12:00 AM, Jan 19, 2009   |    comments
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Authorities have identified the man shot by a Macon police officer after an alleged robbery Monday morning.

Bibb County coroner Leon Jones said the man was 27-year-old Benjamin Hill of Alview Drive.

Earlier in the day, Jones had speculated that the shooting victim was 16 or 17.

Hill was shot by police after a robbery, police said.

Police Sgt. Melanie Hofmann says two men robbed the Checkers fast-food restaurant at Spring Street and Riverside Drive.

She says a witness gave police a license plate number for their getaway car, and police spotted the car on Hardeman Street.

After a brief chase, Hofmann says the passenger in the vehicle jumped out and fled on foot on Chatham Street, while the driver sped away.

She says the vehicle then wrecked on the corner of Mead Road and Guy Paine Road, where police apprehended the driver. Police caught up with the passenger at a vacant apartment on Capitol Avenue.

Shortly after police arrived out front, she says, the passenger fired at officers and then tried to escape out a broken window. After he fired at officers a second time while in the street, she says officers returned fire, shooting the suspect.

Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones says he pronounced Hill dead a few minutes after 10 a.m., when he was shot .

Jones said, "This isn't a good way to start off such a celebratory week."

Hofmann says the driver of the car, 26-year-old Eric Daniels was arrested and charged with armed robbery.

Hofmann offered no further details except that police may have a lead on some other crimes after they arrested the driver.

"The vehicle was possibly used in previous robberies," said Hofmann. When asked which robberies, she would only say "recent ones."

Hofmann would not release the names of the officers involved in the shooting, but says they will be placed on administrative leave while internal affairs conducts an investigation.

One woman who lives on the corner of Capitol Avenue and Chatham Street says waking up to a crime scene Monday morning disturbed her.

"I heard about nine gunshots and I was wide awake," said Jasmine Howard. "A bullet don't have a name on it, so I got my kids on the floor and just prayed."

Employees at the Zaxby's restaurant across the street from Checkers say they hate to hear about the robbery so close to home, especially because one man ended up dead, after police said he shot at officers.

Zaxby's employee Latreeceya Martin says the news disturbs her, and she feels bad for the neighborhood because so many young people are getting into trouble.

Check back with 13WMAZ.com for updates.

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