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.