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February 16, 2014

Passenger shoots self at traffic stop

A passenger in a vehicle in Murray County Saturday night shot and killed himself after a deputy stopped the car he was riding in, said Chief Deputy Greg Fowler on Sunday.

A car was pulled over by a deputy around 5 p.m. at the convenience store at the intersection of Ga. Highways 225 and 286 in north Murray County, Fowler said. The car had four people in it, and the deputy got their identification, he said.

After running it through the system, the deputy was told a male occupant had a warrant on him, and he was warned to use caution because the man had violent tendencies, Fowler said. The name of the man was not being released Sunday because his family had not yet been notified.

Having heard the warning, other officers then responded to the scene to provide backup, Fowler said.

“Once the others pulled up, they approached the vehicle,” he said. “The front seat passenger had a weapon out. He discharged it. Deputies pulled the door open in an attempt to disarm him. The weapon went off a second time.”

The man died, Fowler said. One of the deputies was burned and received cuts on his hands. Names of the deputies involved were also not being released.

No deputy fired a shot. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating, which is routine any time deputies are present during a shooting, Fowler said.

Everyone in the car was taken to the sheriff’s office for questioning, but no one was charged, he said.

Fowler said Saturday night’s interviews with the deputies were preliminary and he did not know why the deputy initially stopped the car.

“The deputies were pretty shaken over it,” he said.

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