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Richmond deputy shoots, kills suspect

Man was wielding knife; GBI is investigating

EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
A body is removed from crime scene Friday morning after a shooting involving sheriff's deputies
Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 6:37 AM
Last updated Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013 1:37 AM
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A Richmond County deputy fatally shot a knife-wielding man Friday morning, an action that Sheriff Richard Roundtree said appeared to be justified.

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The body of a fatal shooting victim is loaded into a hearse at Fox Den Apartments on Friday morning.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
The body of a fatal shooting victim is loaded into a hearse at Fox Den Apartments on Friday morning.


“We have no evidence supporting the idea that any wrongdoing was done (by the officer),” Roundtree said at an afternoon news conference. “We believe the deadly force policy was followed.”

According to authorities, Deputy Michael J. Woodard killed Chaz Devell Williams, 21, after confronting him in a residence at Fox Den Apartments in the 3200 block of Wrightsboro Road. Deputies said they had been looking for Williams for about two hours after he had driven away from a police traffic stop, wrecked his car and fled.

Pat Morgan, the special agent in charge for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said a deputy began pursuing Williams’ car around 2:20 a.m. after he failed to stop for unspecified traffic offenses. That pursuit ended near Church’s Chicken on Wrightsboro Road when the vehicle ran into a fence and its driver, believed to be Williams, ran away. More officers were called in, and a search eventually led them to Fox Den Apartments.

According to Morgan, a group of deputies entered Apartment 133 about 4 a.m. and tried to take Williams into custody.

“There were several weapons in the home,” Morgan said. “A knife was involved.”

Woodard, a five-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, fired more than one shot, killing the suspect, Morgan said.

Morgan would not elaborate on what led the officer to use his weapon or how the knife was involved. He said he was still interviewing witnesses, including two people who were at the residence at the time.

Roundtree said that, in general, police officers can use deadly force when they believe their lives or the life of another is in danger.

After the GBI concludes its investigation, the case will be handed over to the district attorney’s office.

Roundtree said there are no plans to suspend Woodard. He said the officer would be required to attend a session with a counselor before returning to work.

The Peace Officer Standards and Training Council requires that all officers complete deadly force training each year.

The dead man has a Richmond County arrest record, including a charge of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute in Augusta 2011. The charge was reduced to possession of cocaine, and Williams was sentenced to three years’ probation.

Last August, Williams was arrested on charges of driving on a suspended/revoked license and having an expired tag.

An autopsy is scheduled this morning, Morgan said.

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OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 02/01/13 - 08:33 am
21
6
Hope

& pray the deputy returns home safely and it was a good shoot.

seenitB4
91181
Points
seenitB4 02/01/13 - 09:25 am
19
6
WHY DOWNERS

Why anyone wants to give downers to the posts is beyond me......maybe when the gun is pointed at them they will get the message loud & clear.....
I hope the policeman will be safe & I appreciate all that they do everyday....a thankless job..

billcass
811
Points
billcass 02/01/13 - 12:07 pm
16
6
Perhaps

It is because none of us know the facts of the case, and making disparaging comments about the individual who died is so distasteful. We have no idea what precipitated the shooting, and no matter what it is still someone's family member. No death should be celebrated.

itsanotherday1
45610
Points
itsanotherday1 02/01/13 - 09:53 am
12
5
Yea, how could anyone

Yea, how could anyone possibly differ with OC's post? Hoping that it was a legitimate use of force and concern for the deputy that had to pull the trigger.

Wow....

RonMal
13
Points
RonMal 02/01/13 - 10:14 am
11
8
Do we know if the person was

Do we know if the person was a Thug? No we don't and even if he was, he was Gods creation. Let's not celebrate someone dieing. There will be a funeral for this person and his family will be in sorrow.

Frita's Boss
180
Points
Frita's Boss 02/01/13 - 10:48 am
5
9
Pathetic

So your cover story is exactly 6 SENTENCES LONG!!!???

Get it together AC. No wonder the readership is quickly declining.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 02/01/13 - 11:00 am
8
3
Now Wait a Minute...
Unpublished

Let's give the AC a little slack here. With the new Sheriff in town, information is not coming forth quite like it used to. Maybe there is currently only six sentences worth of information thus far. WGAC said the same thing @ 7:15 on my into work. Things are probably going to be tighter, now that the GBI is running the show. We'll wait...

GiantsAllDay
9995
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/01/13 - 11:39 am
8
8
3 months ago, an unarmed

3 months ago, an unarmed young woman was shot to death by the cops in salt lake city. 3 months and the police still haven't issued their report. Yep, 3 months. The DA in Salt lake city refuses to investigate until he gets the police report. Yep, 3 months (and counting) for the cops to get their story straight. Let's hope RCSO, with its new leader, is more on the up and up.
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/55671299-78/police-shooting-west-willa...

Riverman1
87635
Points
Riverman1 02/01/13 - 11:56 am
6
5
Sheriff Roundtree may be a

Sheriff Roundtree may be a valuable asset to keep things calm after this incident.

itsanotherday1
45610
Points
itsanotherday1 02/01/13 - 01:40 pm
7
1
Watching the TV news; they

Watching the TV news; they have a bit more info, although it is hard to conclude much from it other than this guy had prior experience behind bars.

LillyfromtheMills
13978
Points
LillyfromtheMills 02/01/13 - 05:01 pm
6
2
The new Sheriff

Is on AR's butt for releasing this before he did.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 02/01/13 - 05:16 pm
0
1
Looks like
Unpublished

a saint to me or will he become one like trayvon martin?

LillyfromtheMills
13978
Points
LillyfromtheMills 02/01/13 - 05:27 pm
5
2
The letter is on AR's FB

Wonder who wrote it - an official letter with incorrect grammar! The new sheriff told them he would be the one releasing info: " I am extremely disappointed in your reporting tactics and they do not favor well with my administration."

Riverman1
87635
Points
Riverman1 02/01/13 - 06:14 pm
10
3
Lilly, it could be Austin put

Lilly, it could be Austin put those mistakes in the letter when he posted it.

Riverman1
87635
Points
Riverman1 02/01/13 - 07:08 pm
9
2
What folks are missing

I'm not even saying Austin intentionally posted something that was not exactly as the letter said. However, it is certainly very possible to do something like that.

Frankly, I didn't see that much of a grammatical error in what Lilly quoted. "Favor well" is used as "sit well" would be used. But I haven't seen the letter. Maybe there are other instances?

What folks are missing and I alluded to earlier is the potential powder keg this matter is. The RCSO has very good reason to be very careful with what is released to the public, by whom and when. Having Sheriff Roundtree address this matter with the public is the best way to handle the potential situation in my mind. Some in the media apparently are missing that aspect.

hisfaith2003
5
Points
hisfaith2003 02/01/13 - 07:20 pm
3
16
shooting

First I thought it is shot to harm not to kill. Second why you put the victim’s record on the news is that to justify the shooting as a good kill. A knife is far less dangers then a policeman with a Gun. I don't see a person with a gun being in danger to have to shoot a person multiple times. But it will be justified because they are the POLICE!

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 02/01/13 - 07:30 pm
7
4
victim background

Run the name
Read the history
Know the facts.

Given the Unofficial NON-ROUNDTREE presented facts.
We know a lot more than what the sheriff is saying.

In this case The NEWS media is doing its job.

My running ROUNDTREE score 7 wins /1 tie /4 loses.
After less than 30 days Our Sheriff has stepped (JUMPED) in it with both feet.

I added 2 loses for making a war over the public's right to information in the timely manner and other than his "official" story.
Never go to war with a MEDIA Mouth it hurts the department,
the personnel and your ability to lead.

Sheriff Roundtree has shown a soft and mean under belly.
Something a sheriff must be above.

LillyfromtheMills
13978
Points
LillyfromtheMills 02/01/13 - 07:30 pm
4
3
Letter

It is the real thing - you have to read it to see the errors. The part I posted was just saying he told him not to release info

Riverman1
87635
Points
Riverman1 02/01/13 - 08:20 pm
8
1
OC said, "Sheriff Roundtree

OC said, "Sheriff Roundtree has shown a soft and mean under belly.
Something a sheriff must be above."

Heck, Ronnie Strength refused to talk to a certain person in the media, too. He won't even speak to him after retiring. Heh.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 02/01/13 - 08:55 pm
6
5
I'm late catching up with

I'm late catching up with this. However, my first thoughts are, what in the heck is Roundtree talking about...? He's not in control of the free press!

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 02/01/13 - 09:06 pm
6
0
Yeah, you are right River,

Yeah, you are right River, but I wouldn't want to be standing anywhere around when Sheriff Strength faces the truth of the source of his real anger.

innorthaugusta
50
Points
innorthaugusta 02/01/13 - 09:20 pm
10
2
Good for the officer. I say

Good for the officer. I say shoot more of these thugs. A bullet is WHOLE lot cheaper than running them through the system and keeping them in jail for months on end.

myfather15
55794
Points
myfather15 02/01/13 - 10:13 pm
16
1
Why do people write about a

Why do people write about a topic in which they don't possess the slightest clue of what they are talking about?

hisfaith2003; has not the slightest clue about this issue.

First of all; law enforcement officers are NOT taught to shoot to harm or to kill. We are taught to shoot center mass of the target, which on a human being would be center of the chest. We are STRICTLY taught to shoot to STOP the threat, PERIOD. We don't shoot to wound or to kill. We discharge a firearm a another human being ONLY to STOP what they are doing. Once the THREAT is neutralized, you DO NOT shoot anymore. We shoot only to prevent the threat of SERIOUSLY bodily harm to ourselves or other innocent citizens.

There are three things that MUST be present before a LE officer shoots someone. AOJ is the acronym; meaning ability, opportunity and jeopardy. All three MUST be present before an officer can shoot a suspect. The suspect must possess the ABILITY to harm officers or citizens; which in this case, he possessed a knife and that is ability, even if (hisfaith2003) doesn't think so. Then the suspect must have the opportunity to cause serious bodily harm. In this case, its sounds like he had the opportunity. Then, lives must be in jeopardy and it certainly sounds as if they were. Most of the people on this thread have NO idea how much training we get in the use of deadly force. You also have NO CLUE what we deal with on a daily basis, so you can take your opinions and.........well, I'll leave it at that.

hisfaith2003; you have the gall to say; "A knife is far less dangers then a policeman with a Gun. I don't see a person with a gun being in danger to have to shoot a person multiple times. But it will be justified because they are the POLICE!"

Why don't you google "police officer stabbed" and look at some of the injuries suffered by law enforcement officers. But it wouldn't do you any good; it's clear you have a deep hatred for law enforcement and there is probably no moving you from that.

But, in one way you're correct. When I have a gun on my side I'm probably not going to be in a lot of danger when a guy with a knife comes at me, because I'm going to shoot him, period!! I'm NOT going to stand and try to fist fight a guy with a knife. In the lawful discharge of my duties, if a person attacks me with a knife, they better be PREPARED to lose their life; because it's clear they are trying to take mine. No, I'm not TRYING to kill that person, but I will shoot them and if they die, that is on them. I'm not shooting to wound them or kill them, just to stop them. I also didn't cause them to place me in jeopardy. What would you prefer? Police officers to carry knives to defend against knives? I'm quite sure YOU would just love to fist fight a guy with a knife, you being so brave and all. Good luck with that!!

innorthaugusta
50
Points
innorthaugusta 02/01/13 - 10:57 pm
12
1
MyFather 15 said: "When I

MyFather 15 said: "When I have a gun on my side I'm probably not going to be in a lot of danger when a guy with a knife comes at me, because I'm going to shoot him, period!! I'm NOT going to stand and try to fist fight a guy with a knife. In the lawful discharge of my duties, if a person attacks me with a knife, they better be PREPARED to lose their life; because it's clear they are trying to take mine. No, I'm not TRYING to kill that person, but I will shoot them and if they die, that is on them. I'm not shooting to wound them or kill them, just to stop them."

Well put. I personally think if enough of these thugs had some bullet holes to show off to their friends, (IF they survive them) you might would see a decrease in crime. If they become a threat to one of our officers, by George, SHOOT them. ENOUGH protecting these thugs and lets protect our men and women who put THEIR life on the line to make OUR lives a little safer.

specsta
6631
Points
specsta 02/01/13 - 11:06 pm
1
11
Firearm vs Knife

What happened with the concept of using a TASER to stop a suspect?

According to Law Enforcement Today.com, "The Taser has a maximum range of thirty five feet but is usually deployed in the seven to fifteen foot range. A second five second shock can be administered if the first one was ineffective."

Seven to fifteen feet usual deployment range - hmmm...the suspect must been carrying a samurai sword to warrant being executed via bullet if a TASER was available to be used.

It's interesting that out of a "group of deputies" that no one thought to TASER the suspect for noncompliance.

http://lawenforcementtoday.com/tag/reduced-the-number-of-injuries-to-sus...

GiantsAllDay
9995
Points
GiantsAllDay 02/02/13 - 12:04 am
2
8
My father

My father I appreciate your comments. Please give me your take about what is going on in Utah. 3 unjustified shootings in less than a year. Ruled unjustified but the Salt Lake County DA does not prosecute and the murdering cops are walking around free Could this happen in Georgia??
http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865553140/Police-shooting-at-McDonald...

gagirl40
113
Points
gagirl40 02/02/13 - 12:58 am
9
0
Specsta...

"It's interesting that out of a "group of deputies" that no one thought to TASER the suspect for noncompliance." Well since Ronnie Strength wouldn't allow his deputies to have tasers none were ever issued and none of them had one. A problem our new sheriff is rectifying as we speak.

rational thought trumps emotion
2625
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 02/02/13 - 01:23 am
9
0
Police are trained to shoot

Police are trained to shoot to stop, shoot center mass. They are also trained to go one step above the threat towards them so if you pull a knife, they pull a gun, not a Taser. And, btw, Richmond County does not have Tasers because the former Sheriff would not allow it but Sheriff Roundtree stated in his platforms that he wants them so hopefully the commissioners will fund them. The same naysayers on here are the ones who would be blaming the police for failing to act had this man retreated into a room with others in the house and killed them prior to continuing to try and kill them. Until you have to make a split second decision to live or be killed by a criminal, you will never understand - Officers can only hope that their training takes over and they handle this situation as bravely and professionally as this officer did. And, shame of the media for releasing the officers name prior to it being done so by the department – that is wrong on so many levels and no wife should have to hear from a radio personality that her husband was involved in a shooting.

rational thought trumps emotion
2625
Points
rational thought trumps emotion 02/02/13 - 01:31 am
11
2
Spectsa

You owe every Richmond County deputy an apology since they have never been issued a Taser. You spend time researching an article to prove your point and yet you don't even know that locally they don't have Tasers - pathetic!

specsta
6631
Points
specsta 02/02/13 - 02:40 am
3
7
No Tasers?

Wow, I didn't realize there was a police agency in the 21st century that did not have Tasers as an alternative to firing a weapon. Thank God the old crew is out, and Sheriff Roundtree can bring the department into modern times.

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