A Richmond County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man late Monday afternoon during a struggle inside the back of his patrol car.
Coroner Grover Tuten identified the dead man as Kevin Brayano Pao, Asian male, 22 years of age of Rockville, MD. Pao was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner McDonald.
The dead man was found in the back seat of the patrol car with a nylon bag over his shoulder and a semiautomatic handgun "concealed in a shirt between his legs," Pat Morgan, GBI special agent-in-charge, said this morning.
"When we found it, it appeared that he'd removed it from the bag it was in," Morgan said.
"When I got there, he was deceased in the backseat of the car," Morgan said. "We could tell that there had been a struggle in the back seat."
The suspect was not handcuffed when he was shot, Morgan said.
When the GBI completes its investigation, it will turn the results over to Richmond County District Attorney Ashley Wright, he said.
The Richmond County Sheriff's Office referred questions about the shooting to the GBI, but identified the deputy involved as 32-year-old Walter Garrison, who started in May with the Sheriff's Office.
Garrison received his police officer certification April 20, according to Ryan Powell, Director of Operations for Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training. He put himself through the academy, and this was his first police job, Powell said.
The incident happened outside Five Guys Burgers and Fries at 2805 Washington Road.
According to Sheriff Ronnie Strength, the sheriff's office got a call at 5:25 p.m. from the restaurant about a suspicious man who had been bathing in the rest room. The officer escorted the man to his patrol car and put him in the back, the sheriff said.
At some point, the man reached into a bag he had with him, prompting the struggle. During the tussle, the deputy shot the man one time in the chest.
The sheriff said no customers were in danger during the incident.
Most customers weren't even aware of the struggle, said Brittni Dulaney, who was eating at the nearby Moe's Southwest Grill.
"A friend came in and said, 'What's going on? There's crime scene tape outside. There are white sheets.' We never even heard gunshots," said Dulaney, 22, of Rome, Ga.
Five Guys, and other businesses in the shopping center, remained open Monday evening. Strength said employees of the other businesses in the area had previously reported the man.
The shooting makes the sixth one -- five fatal -- involving an officer with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office since Nov. 24, 2008.