Breaking News
More () »

Suspect killed after firing at deputies and officers in Barrow County identified

A female passenger has also been taken into custody, police said.

BARROW COUNTY, Ga. — A man was shot and killed after firing at officers in Barrow County on Thursday, the county's sheriff said.

Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said all deputies and officers involved were unhurt. The Auburn Police Department was also involved in the incident.

Smith said both the sheriff's office and police department were involved in the incident, and that the suspect fired on both responding deputies and officers, who returned fire. 

In a release, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said the incident began around 5:30 a.m. when a Barrow sheriff's deputy attempted a traffic stop of a Ford Fusion in Auburn. The GBI later elaborated that the driver had run a stop sign.

"The tag immediately came back to the registered owner had a warrant out for them so they activated their blue lights. When they did the vehicle took off," Special Agent in Charge Jesse Maddox said

Maddox said that the short chase came to an end when the car left the road and hit a power near Browns Bridge Road and Bradford Park Lane. Maddox said the driver didn't get out of the car but he looked out holding a gun.

And as officers arrived, he threatened to shoot himself if deputies - and Auburn Police who had just arrived - got any closer.

"I thought it was a crash and I come outside, seen them and they were like, 'Take cover,'" 16-year-old Ethan Mitchell said.

He then ran back into his family's home less than a block away. He said that, for the next 20 to 25 minutes, he kept watching from the window and heard yelling where people were telling the suspect 

The GBI reports that officers gave him several commands to put down his weapon but said that he eventually started firing at them. And so, according to the GBI, the officers returned fire, striking him. 

The gunman, later identified as 29-year-old Steven Jesse Dylan Thompson of Auburn, Georgia, was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

The GBI said a female passenger in the car crawled out of the wreck and was taken into custody and treated at a hospital for minor injuries.

The bureau said an autopsy on Thompson will be done at the GBI Crime Lab in DeKalb County at an undetermined date. 

Aerial video from the scene showed an overturned car and downed power line. Georgia Power's outage map indicates 274 customers affected by a vehicle accident in that area.

The GBI will take on the shooting investigation as an outside agency and provide its findings to the district attorney for the Piedmont Judicial Circuit.

This is the fourth metro Atlanta shooting involving law enforcement this week, including a previous incident in which a deputy was hurt and a suspect killed in Newton County. A man was found dead in the woods after being shot by a Douglasville officer as well.

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out