Suspect's shooting investigated

An Augusta man who shot a man suspected of breaking into his pickup truck Sunday night could face charges, police said Monday.

 

The Richmond County Sheriff's Office and the district attorney's office are investigating the incident involving Michael Thurman, 38, of the 1900 block of Wrightsboro Road, said sheriff's Maj. Kenneth Autry.

Jeffery Conrad Whitt, 19, of the 1600 block of Floyd Street, remained in jail late Monday. charged with three counts of entering an automobile to commit a theft, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Allison Godden. Mr. Whitt is also charged in two other car break-ins Sunday evening, police said.

At 9:40 p.m. Sunday, police were called to the 1800 block of Wrightsboro Road.

Mr. Thurman told police his wife heard a noise and saw a man inside their 2002 GMC 2500 pickup. Investigator Godden said Mr. Thurman grabbed a gun and confronted the suspect in a dark area behind his home.

Three shots were fired, and Mr. Whitt was struck in his lower right calf, Investigator Godden said. Mr. Whitt was treated at Medical College of Georgia Hospital and booked into jail about 3 a.m. She said both Mr. Whitt and Mr. Thurman's wife called 911 to report the shooting.

"Mr. Thurman said he told the suspect to stop several times, and he said he feared for his life when he confronted him," Investigator Godden said.

Maj. Autry said the continued investigation is warranted because "the DA will look at the circumstances to determine if (Mr. Thurman) was justified in shooting the suspect."

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.