The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is probing the death of a Hoschton man who authorities say fatally shot himself early this month during a traffic stop in Jackson County.
Jackson County Sheriff Janis Mangum said Tuesday 52-year-old Brian Edward James killed himself as deputies were investigating whether he was driving under the influence.
Authorities remain puzzled as to why the man took his life, she said.
A Georgia Institute of Technology graduate, James was born in Dublin, where he was the star student for his high school in 1982. He worked at a banking software business in Atlanta, according to his obituary.
A deputy stopped a Ford pickup on McNeal Road near Hoschton shortly after 10 p.m. Aug. 11, after observing it drive off the side of the road. Another deputy stopped as backup and Mangum said the officers conversed with James for about five minutes.
A deputy then asked him to step out of the vehicle after detecting the odor of alcohol.
However, the man refused and locked his door.
After locking himself in, a deputy reported seeing him raise his hand holding a pistol.
“The deputies retreated to take cover. They heard a gunshot and they didn’t know at that time if he was shooting at them,” Mangum said.
The deputies waited for more units to arrive before they approached the truck and found James dead from a gunshot wound, according to the report.
A spokesman for the GBI said Tuesday investigations are still awaiting some documents such as the autopsy report.