Richmond County deputy kills man in traffic stop

A man released from prison fewer than 20 days ago was fatally shot Thursday morning after pulling a pistol on a Richmond County sheriff's deputy.


Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Deputy Bill Walker had stopped a car driven by David Anthony Dawkins, 24, about 6:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Bransford Townhomes off Bransford Road.

The deputy said he noticed the vehicle sliding through the intersection at Walton Way and Lake Forest Drive because it matched the description in a stolen vehicle report he had taken the day before, Strength said.

Walker approached the vehicle and a struggle ensued when he attempted to arrest the suspect. During the fight, Dawkins, who was already partially handcuffed, pulled a pistol and pointed it at the deputy. The deputy, a 17-year veteran, then fired three shots, killing the suspect, Strength said.

"It was very obvious it was self-defense when somebody pulls a weapon on you," Strength said. "The reaction the officer took was appropriate and in line with policy and procedure."

Walker has been placed on administrative duties while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation continues their investigation, the sheriff said.

Dawkins, of the 2700 block of Wheeler Road, was released from Georgia State Prison on Jan. 23.

According to police, charges on Dawkins date back to 2005. They include 10 charges of entering an automobile and two charges of theft by taking. He was in prison from December 2006 to June 2008 and then again from September 2009 to January.

Walker was awarded one of the South Augusta Exchange Club's annual Public Safety Awards in 2009 for raising $14,000 for victims of domestic violence.

The money raised through a charity softball game with North Augusta Public Safety was given to local charities.

"Your family sees what you do every day, but having an outside organization approve of what you do, it's a good feeling," Walker said at the time.

Past police shootings:

NOV. 24, 2008: Investigator Tim Tobias fatally shot Joseph Gooden, 26. The 21-year veteran was working a special-duty assignment at Captain D's restaurant on Wrightsboro Road when Gooden, armed with a BB gun, robbed the restaurant.

DEC. 14, 2008: Deputies Jose Rivera Ortiz and Michael Hodge were responding to a tip about a man with drugs and weapons in an SUV when they boxed in Justin Leonard Elmore, 23, using their patrol cars in the Cherry Tree neighborhood. Deputies said Elmore rammed Deputy Hodge's car and drove toward Deputy Ortiz. The deputies fired on Elmore and he died several days later.

DEC. 25, 2008: Deputy Scott White shot and wounded Georgette Reid during a hostage situation on Sunny Day Road in Hephzibah. Reid was fighting with her live-in girlfriend when she struck her in the head with a hammer and took her 4-year-old son hostage with a knife. As Deputy White entered the room, he shot Reid in the shoulder and pulled the boy away.

NOV. 12, 2009: An Augusta man free on bond awaiting a murder trial was killed by Richmond County sheriff's deputies when he refused to put down the knife he held to his wife's throat. Police said Terry Ramsey, 41, was shot when deputies Chadwick Plueger and Sylvester Rosier, responding to a phone call from his 14-year-old son, found him threatening his estranged wife, Tameka Ramsey.

NOV. 18, 2009: Three Richmond County narcotic officers -- Philip Hambrick, Jason Saal and Mike Swint -- were involved in a shooting in which Michael Nestor was fatally wounded. Sheriff Ronnie Strength said the officers shot Nestor, 30, when he tried to run one of them over with his car after they attempted to arrest him on several drug charges.

SEPT. 6, 2010: A Richmond County sheriff's deputy shot and killed a man during a struggle inside the back of his patrol car. The man, who had been bathing inside the bathroom of Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Washington Road, was escorted into the back of a patrol car, where he reached inside a bag he had with him. The deputy tried to take the bag, and shot the suspect at least once in the chest in the struggle. A weapon was later found inside the bag.

Dec. 8, 2010: A Richmond County deputy shot and killed 34-year-old Bobby Flippo following a car chase that ended outside Augusta Manor Apartments. The deputy told investigators Flippo exited his vehicle with a gun and threatened to shoot himself and the 8-month-old child strapped in a carseat in his backseat. Because a child was in danger, the deputy fired.