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Richmond County deputy kills man in traffic stop

Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Richmond County Sheriff's deputies and investigators hold a white sheet over the body of a shooting victim at the 700 block of Bransford Road.
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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.

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Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff's deputies and investigators hold a white sheet over the body of a shooting victim Thursday at the 700 block of Bransford Road in Augusta  Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/Staff
Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff's deputies and investigators hold a white sheet over the body of a shooting victim Thursday at the 700 block of Bransford Road in Augusta


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.

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Augustaboy
52
Points
Augustaboy 02/10/11 - 09:55 am
0
0
With everything that's been

With everything that's been happening around here, I believe the police have had enough. Prayers to both parties involved.

Dixieman
15998
Points
Dixieman 02/10/11 - 11:47 am
0
0
Story does not say who got

Story does not say who got shot!!!

happychimer
18623
Points
happychimer 02/10/11 - 11:58 am
0
0
wrdw has reported more

wrdw has reported more details, including the dead man's name.

museofsatie
586
Points
museofsatie 02/10/11 - 11:59 am
0
0
WRDW 12 has a bit more info

WRDW 12 has a bit more info than the AC. 12 released the name of the suspect and that the incident started as a "traffic stop for a stolen car." I live at Bransford Townhomes, and the details given by 12 seem to match what went on this morning.

Dixieman
15998
Points
Dixieman 02/10/11 - 12:12 pm
0
0
glad it was not the deputy

glad it was not the deputy who got shot!

Crime Reports and Rewards TV
33
Points
Crime Reports and Rewards TV 02/10/11 - 03:09 pm
0
0
We sure are glad Deputy

We sure are glad Deputy Walker was not killed or injured defending himself. This story could have gone a completely different way and we would be getting ready for a Police Funeral.

oneofthefrontrowgang
0
Points
oneofthefrontrowgang 02/10/11 - 03:37 pm
0
0
GOOD JOB BILL WALKER. YOU DID

GOOD JOB BILL WALKER. YOU DID WHAT YOU WERE TRAINED TO DO. GOD BLESS YOU.

reba530
65
Points
reba530 02/10/11 - 03:42 pm
0
0
Well if you obey someone in
Unpublished

Well if you obey someone in uniform then just maybe you want get shot. I mean he just got out of jail 22 days ago and driving a stolen car..come on now.. I feel for the deputy but it was a job well done. Now we don't have to pay for him to live behind bars anymore

Asitisinaug
3
Points
Asitisinaug 02/10/11 - 03:58 pm
0
0
Repeat Violent Offenders back

Repeat Violent Offenders back on the streets to rob & kill citizens and police officers is completely unacceptable. We need more Mandatory Sentencing to take power away from liberal judges. Someone with his criminal record had no business be released from prison again.

This deputy did and excellent job on all counts. He was pro-active, being vigilant by noticing the stolen car and was attempting to simply arrest this would be murderer when he was forced to take further action. We as a community need to stand by and fully support Deputy Walker.

The commission should be ashamed of their selves for placing all of our deputies and citizens in further harms way by cutting police presence by as many as 38 deputies in recent years and furloughing all of the deputies for 5 days this year which reduced man hours by more than 20,000 man hours for the year. RCSO deputies are already the lowest paid of all nearby comparable agencies and their call volume is far higher. They place their lives on the line for us each and every day and we as a community need to tell our commissioners to stop playing with their safety and our safety by wasting money in other areas and failing to properly fund the Sheriff's Office.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/10/11 - 04:55 pm
0
0
"Nice to hear a story with a

"Nice to hear a story with a happy ending " "Good job" "Great job"

It is never a happy ending or a great job when someone looses their life no matter how rotten or criminal someone is. This is a human life. Yeah, he was a criminal and he pulled a gun on an officer. I'm happy this officer is safe, but I'm not happy that he had no choice but to fire his weapon. I want these guys off the street but never wish anyone dead. Somewhere a mother has lost a son....no matter how horrible my child is I will still love him as I'm sure this young man's mother does and the pain is still there.

You guys act like you're almost gleeful that this "thug" is dead. He was still a human being and I'm sure this officer wishes there had been another way....I'm sure he's not dancing in the street because one down how many more to go attitudes. Sad!

AutumnLeaves
8451
Points
AutumnLeaves 02/10/11 - 05:07 pm
0
0
InChristLove, I appreciate

InChristLove, I appreciate you weighing in on that part of the perspective. There is an interview of his father on one of the local TV stations that is illuminating and from the heart. It is short and to the point.

jones255
0
Points
jones255 02/10/11 - 05:19 pm
0
0
@InChristLove - Please reread

@InChristLove - Please reread my post. Mr. Dawkins did not learn. He was given more than one chance to change his thought process, as it concerns to making the right choice. It is not our responsibility as taxpayers, to feed, clothe, and shelter, criminals who continue to make bad choices. He had been out of prison for less than a month. He made two choices, and together, they were both bad ones, and they his last.

Willies
0
Points
Willies 02/10/11 - 06:04 pm
0
0
"He was incarcerated from

"He was incarcerated from Dec. 2006 to June 2008 and then again from Sept. 2009 to Jan. 2011"
CCCCCCOMBO BREAKER!!!!!

follower
59
Points
follower 02/10/11 - 06:08 pm
0
0
I'll have to agree with ICL

I'll have to agree with ICL on this one. I'm as much a law and order guy as they come, but celebrating the death of anyone is a point I don't ever want to reach. Be assured, Deputy Walker is not celebrating. Although he was forced into his decision, and rightfully so, a life has ended.

Prayers to the officer, as well as the victims family that must be wondering why Mr. Dawkins didn't learn from his past. Although difficult to deal with, hopefully others will carefully consider their path.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/10/11 - 06:12 pm
0
0
jones255, the point I was

jones255, the point I was trying to make is even though he did not learn and had more than one chance, when is it okay to loose our humanity. When is it ever right to rejoice when the consequences of this man's actions led to death. It may not be your responsiblity to feed, shelter and clothe the fallen, but as a follower of Christ, it is my responsibility not only to take care of these physical needs but also their spiritual needs. Will everyone learn from their mistakes, sadly no, but to rejoice in death isn't the answer either.

gagirl40
113
Points
gagirl40 02/10/11 - 06:33 pm
0
0
InChristLove, I agree with

InChristLove, I agree with you, it is not right for people to rejoice at this mans death. While he gave Bill no choice but to shoot him, I can promise you Bill is in fact NOT celebrating the death of this man. What he is doing is being thankful he is alive and with his family right now, because it could have easily gone the other way.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/10/11 - 07:34 pm
0
0
Sweet Tooth, there is a video

Sweet Tooth, there is a video of his father and he doesn't blame anyone but himself. If you can watch it without bringing a tear to your eye then you have no heart. Not all parents are sorry. This man loved his son and really tired.....we can't always control what our children do but it doesn't mean we love them any less. Check the attitude before you watch it.

crackerjack
150
Points
crackerjack 02/10/11 - 07:40 pm
0
0
ICL .....I agree with you

ICL .....I agree with you that we shouldn't rejoice in his death. But I can only rejoice in the Deputies LIFE being spared, and no telling how many lives he may have saved in our community by speeding up his dirt nap. I also think some of these judges need to be held accountable for letting this scumbag out on the streets again. These silver-tongued lawyers dress these guys up in a three piece suit, and get their mother and some preacher to say what a good boy he is if only given another chance. And I think the public is fed up!

microprill
2
Points
microprill 02/10/11 - 07:43 pm
0
0
FISHY

FISHY

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/10/11 - 07:51 pm
0
0
crackerjack, when you have

crackerjack, when you have more criminals than space to keep them, it's a judgment call on whom you let out early and whom you keep. Would you rather a murder be let out early or a habitual car theft?

It's not a perfect system but it's what we have. As for silver-tongued lawyers...they are only doing what they are paid to do....whatever it takes to get their client off. If you were the client wouldn't you want to do what it took to get you out of there?

Yes, I think the public is fed up but work to change the system...the young man was a habitual car theft....where do you think he learned to be a murderer? In jail is my guess. Luckily he didn't get the chance to add that to his record.

smbga
38
Points
smbga 02/10/11 - 07:50 pm
0
0
another wasted life. sad,

another wasted life. sad, but ,....he chose his destiny

Sweet Tooth
2
Points
Sweet Tooth 02/10/11 - 07:51 pm
0
0
Hey In Christ, I'll watch the

Hey In Christ,

I'll watch the video of the dad, just post the url for me. Thanks.

InChristLove
22481
Points
InChristLove 02/10/11 - 07:57 pm
0
0
Sweet Tooth, check channel 6

Sweet Tooth, check channel 6 news site.

gagirl40
113
Points
gagirl40 02/10/11 - 07:58 pm
0
0
Microprill...what's so

Microprill...what's so "fishy" about it?

happychimer
18623
Points
happychimer 02/10/11 - 08:51 pm
0
0
I saw the video of the

I saw the video of the father. He is a broken man. He loved his son. A life was lost,and nothing to celebrate. The officer did what he had to do.

oldfella
620
Points
oldfella 02/10/11 - 09:15 pm
0
0
I just hope the father

I just hope the father doesn't keep blaming himself. I have kids, I know the drill. But sometimes you just can't do anything to stop people from ruining their lives. I have felons in my family, as do many of my peers.
But when the now deceased car thief decided not to give up when he had a chance, a preventable tragedy occured.
As for "learning to be a murderer in prison" I'm not buying it. I have a family member who got out of the Illinois Correctional System a few years back after serving 7+ years - and was shot (not fatally of course) by police during the incident that got him convicted. He turned himself around, so it can be done. But a person only gets so many opportunities to change - they (we) need to take those opportunities seriously.

elizaw
8
Points
elizaw 02/10/11 - 09:50 pm
0
0
Let me rephrase this. A

Let me rephrase this. A bright young black boy was ran down by a white man, but no one never chase him down. But its ok to Praise an officer who killed a man over a stolen car. Something is wrong with this picture. Have they ever try to find the man who killed the little boy on Windsor Spring. Maybe this story needs to go to another level.

happychimer
18623
Points
happychimer 02/10/11 - 10:10 pm
0
0
When kids get with friends,

When kids get with friends, their friends have influence over them . They will usually listen to their friends instead of their parents.When they are no longer minors, you can no longer tell them what to do. I hope his father gets help and finds peace,

xpresso1
68
Points
xpresso1 02/10/11 - 10:10 pm
0
0
I think Richmond County

I think Richmond County Deputies are doing a wonderful job...especially for the low pay they receive. I thank God that this deputy got to go home to his family tonight. I am also sorry for the victim's family..I was very impressed with what the father had to say, he is not angry at law enforcement he sees the truth for what it is...he is taking the blame himself saying he was not a good parent..I think it would be great if he could go to schools and speak to children and even parents..at least then something good might can come out of his son's tragic ending.

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