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Man killed in I-20 standoff identified

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An Illinois man was shot and killed by deputies after a standoff Sunday night on Interstate 20.

The scene late Sunday night where a man was shot along I-20  Travis Highfield/ Staff
Travis Highfield/ Staff
The scene late Sunday night where a man was shot along I-20


It appears the man – identified as Joseph Crist, 58, of Sullivan, Ill. – intended to have police kill him, Co­lumbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said.

Crist was speaking to his brother, who lives in Arizona, and threatening himself. His brother called the Georgia State Patrol, and a trooper alerted Columbia County authorities that the man was likely armed and threatening suicide, according to Morris.

Deputies found Crist about 6:25 p.m. on the interstate under the Chamblin Road overpass. His van had a flat tire, and he was holding a .45-caliber handgun but didn’t threaten deputies. He refused to give up the weapon and surrender, Morris said.

Authorities set up a perimeter and shut down the interstate between the Harlem and Grovetown exits and the Chamblin Road bridge for the safety of the public during the four hours that crisis negotiators tried to “de-escalate the situation,” Morris said.

About 10:45 p.m., Crist raised his weapon at deputies.

“They fired several less-lethal rounds, and that was ineffective,” Morris said. “It did not stop the threat.”

Deputies fired several nonlethal 40 mm sponge rounds and 12-gauge shotgun bean bag rounds at the man, but he didn’t lower his weapon, Morris said.

Crist was then shot and killed. An autopsy is scheduled at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta.

Deputy Joseph Baker, 29, fired the fatal shot and was put on administrative leave, which is protocol while the sheriff’s office completes an investigation, Morris said. He expects the final report to be complete in a week or two, but a preliminary report should be ready sooner.

Comments (22)

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corgimom
19192
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 11:45 am
9
0

My heart goes out to the

My heart goes out to the man's family.

My prayers also go out to Deputy Baker, also.

justthefacts
17965
Points
justthefacts 08/26/13 - 11:57 am
9
0

Just sad

Sad situation all around.

Sweet son
8213
Points
Sweet son 08/26/13 - 12:09 pm
9
0

Suicide by the police!

Suicide is terrible but to have the police do it for you makes it more terrible. First two comments are right sad for all! No winners!

validPoint
979
Points
validPoint 08/26/13 - 01:01 pm
10
0

Very Sad

A weapon that is not intended to be fired, should never be focused. It poses too much of a threat, and should never be taken lightly. Somehow, i believe the officer's name should have not been made public until all evidence and conclusions are finalized.

justthefacts
17965
Points
justthefacts 08/26/13 - 01:34 pm
8
0

validpoint

Agreed.

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 08/26/13 - 02:12 pm
6
0

I empathize with someone

I empathize with someone feeling a certain way after shooting another human, but I also feel strongly that the actions of the officer were necessary and i recognize that this world is not a predetermined environment. In order to affect change in the future, something in the present must serve a point. Name the officer and I have no issue as I would respect them all the more.

TrulyWorried
9650
Points
TrulyWorried 08/26/13 - 04:52 pm
6
0

I-20 Shooting

I feel the officer's name should be kept out of the news until the whole case is closed. I don't think the officer is feeling his best right now, don't make it worse. And my heartfelt condolences to all of the gentleman's family - what a horrible tragedy for all caught up in this.

rmwhitley
5077
Points
rmwhitley 08/26/13 - 07:09 pm
0
0

The entire

Unpublished

incident just makes me want to throw up. Having to take a life is something that never goes away.

corgimom
19192
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 08:56 pm
2
0

They can't keep it out of the

They can't keep it out of the news, suspending an officer- as is always done when there is a shooting- is public record.

And, in Augusta GA, there is a certain element of the community that thinks that everytime a police officer shoots somebody, it's because of police brutality. It's incredible how some people think.

my.voice
4183
Points
my.voice 08/26/13 - 10:22 pm
2
0

This makes me appreciate our

This makes me appreciate our law enforcement officers just that much more. This could have gone horribly wrong for innocent people. What of he'd have walked into the mall, a school, or worse? Thank you for the courage it takes guys and gals of the law enforcement agencies everywhere. This wasn't an easy one at all.

bclicious
468
Points
bclicious 08/26/13 - 10:46 pm
3
4

Sounds like we have a few law enforcement supporters:

From reading the comments above, it sounds like we have a few law enforcement supporters on the blog. Glad to hear it, but I would like to see how your comments might change a year from now if you found out that Deputy Joseph Baker got himself into some minor to moderate trouble (Public drunk, excessive force, abuse of painkillers, etc).

Would any of you be ready to support this hero then? I think not.

Yep, it's easy to support us when we deal with a scenario like the one mentioned above; however, once we make 1 mistake, those supporters quickly crumble. From my personal experiences, Deputy Joseph Baker may require counseling, and may never be the same again.

Hats off to you brother on stopping the threat. Never apologize for that.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
6405
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/27/13 - 08:50 am
1
1

bc

Those comments were completely uncalled for.

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 08/27/13 - 08:50 am
1
1

Not clear what position you

Not clear what position you are taking bclicious. I will say this though. I support the action and what the badge represents. If you think that simply b/c someone is a police officer, it makes them perfect or somehow expunges their past, think again. The person who shot that other person, did something I respect and support. Glad to clarify it further if warranted.

Fiat_Lux
13857
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/27/13 - 09:31 am
2
0

It's not difficult to understand bclicious's intent

He's saying that Deputy Baker has taken a hit for the home team, a hit that could have a serious and negative impact on him. If he is unable to come to peace with himself after having killed another human being, he may experience some of the same kinds of problems other tormented people end up dealing with, ie, excessive use of alcohol and other things that temporarily blunt or block the pain, or a huge amount of unresolved anger always pushing for an outlet.

BCLicious is asking if we, upon hearing or reading about Deputy Baker having trouble down the road, would make the effort to remember the source of his problems and still support him when he shows his wounds from this awful event.

Would we remember that he was one of the most important victims of this tragedy?

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 08/27/13 - 11:18 am
0
1

I suppose Fiat. BCL would

I suppose Fiat. BCL would have to confirm that for me to sign off. Here the issue for me. The culture and perception that putting someone down for legit reasons is victimizing oneself. I don't like it. If you do your job, you save the general public from death and violence as this officer did, why is there the auto-response of "poor soul had to take a life" . Congratulate and celebrate them saving LIVES. Gravitating toward the negative connotation or perception of it, opens the door to question and doubt. I don't second guess the decision to shoot, I know the action had all the potential to limit the impending death toll. It's one of the very select forms of getting the taxpayer's money's worth. Sorry if it comes off uncaring for the dead fellow but the discussion is regarding the officer and quite plainly, he has more to live for.

corgimom
19192
Points
corgimom 08/27/13 - 11:54 am
1
1

I agree with CBBP 100%.

I agree with CBBP 100%.

Contrary to what the media has you believe, not everybody that has suffered a traumatic event or that has PTSD turns to drinking or drugs. There are millions of people that have been in wars, and they manage just fine.

What a strange assumption.

bclicious
468
Points
bclicious 08/27/13 - 12:32 pm
1
1

FIAT LUX hit it on the head!

Congrats Mr. Fiat Lux! You are an a very perceptive reader.

As for the rest of you; nope! Unless you have worn the uniform (actual law enforcement), carried the stress of the job, and dealt with an actual shooting event; you just don't know what heck you are talking about.

I can honestly say that from my several years of law enforcement experience, and all 3 combat tours in Iraq; I am more than qualified to not be accused of talking out of my butt.

From my personal experience in policing: the public is quick to judge you, quick to crucify you, and even if you prove that you didn't do anything wrong; forever resentful.

I am sorry, but as much as I love being a law enforcement officer; would it really kill the public to stand behind their law enforcement officers on a daily basis? Also; would it really kill them to stand behind them when they need it most (accused of a wrongdoing)?

Oh well. I guess it doesn't matter to most. But as for me, if I were an average citizen living in ABC town, I would want the local police to know that they have the majority support of the community they police in.

Just a thought...

my.voice
4183
Points
my.voice 08/27/13 - 01:16 pm
1
0

BC - Point taken, but the

BC - Point taken, but the delivery stinks. Way outside the strike zone.

David Parker
7919
Points
David Parker 08/27/13 - 02:20 pm
1
1

Wild pitch....Mark it.

One aside to your post officer bclicious. Saying that because we haven't been in a shootout, our perspective doesn't merit consideration and furthermore, saying we don't know what we are talking about, isn't the card to play here. Since you actually have been involved with a shooting event and toured several times overseas, it would suggest to me that you are hypersensitive to the emotional angle and stress (your word). That kind of baggage does not clarity make, unique maybe, but skewed perception nonetheless. Above and beyond that, my interpretation of the events is mine and mine alone and I'll call the officer a hero regardless of how I came to the realization.

Fiat_Lux
13857
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/27/13 - 03:25 pm
1
0

It's not about "a culture" of being a victim because he did his

job and duty and it was traumatic. Nobody knows how doing something like this will affect them. The point is that sometimes, even often, it is traumatic even for strong, solid, mature people of outstanding character. It's not coddling them to be open to the possibility that they might struggle to come to terms with what they were required to do, no matter how necessary and justified it was.

And just the kind of flip attitude seen above is exactly why some people are so reluctant to even take a peek at the possibility that they have been wounded by such an event.

I can't imagine what kind of person isn't traumatized somehow by killing another human being, even if they manage to come to terms with it on their own. Not everyone can, not without it's having some kind of lasting impact and consequence.

Oh, wait. Of course there are people like that! Mostly they're sociopaths and soulless, heartless narcissists. Just the kind of people we should encourage to be authority figures carrying guns.

Darby
19100
Points
Darby 08/28/13 - 12:15 am
1
0

"Somehow, i believe the officer's name should

have not been made public until all evidence and conclusions are finalized."

.
Then everybody and his third cousin would have been screaming COVER-UP!

Brenda Crist Kelley
2
Points
Brenda Crist Kelley 08/29/13 - 07:19 pm
0
0

no comment

no comment

Darby
19100
Points
Darby 08/29/13 - 10:14 pm
1
0

@ Brenda -

Well said...

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