February 17, 2014

Dalton man identified in shooting death

Charles Oliver

— The individual who Murray County sheriff’s officials said shot and killed himself on Saturday after a car he was riding in was stopped by a deputy was a 38-year-old man from Dalton.

Murray County Chief Deputy Greg Fowler said Ryan Shane Neale was a passenger in a van that was pulled over by a deputy around 5 p.m. at a convenience store at the intersection of Ga. Highways 225 and 286 in north Murray County.

Fowler said on Monday he did not have the report and didn’t know why the van was pulled over.

The car had four people in it, and the deputy got their identification. After running that through the sheriff office’s computer system, the deputy was told Neale had a warrant for him out of Cherokee County, Fowler said. Fowler said he could not immediately say what the warrant was for. The deputy was warned to use caution because the man could be violent.

Other officers responded. When they approached the vehicle, Neale had a weapon out and fired it, Fowler said. Deputies pulled the door open in an attempt to disarm him and the weapon went off a second time.

One of the deputies received powder burns and scrapes on his hands. Fowler said the deputy was taken to a local hospital and released.

“None of the deputies have been placed on administrative leave because they did not discharge their weapons,” Fowler said. “We asked each one if they need time to compose themselves and they all said no. But we are making arrangements for them to meet in a few days with a professional about anything that might be bothering them.”

The investigation of the incident has been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and Fowler said he did not want to release the names of the deputies without checking with the GBI first.

“I don’t want to release any information that they don’t want me to,” he said.