Crime & Courts

Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Gunshots bring end to I-20 standoff

Sunday, Aug 25, 2013 8:48 PM
Last updated Monday, Aug 26, 2013 8:46 AM
  • Follow Latest News

An unidentified man was shot and killed late Sunday after pointing a gun at police following a 4-hour standoff that rerouted I-20 traffic near Grovetown.

At 10:42 p.m., a large explosion was heard coming from the bridge, followed by gunshots. Minutes later, an ambulance arrived accompanied by a Georgia State Patrol cruiser.  TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
TRAVIS HIGHFIELD/STAFF
At 10:42 p.m., a large explosion was heard coming from the bridge, followed by gunshots. Minutes later, an ambulance arrived accompanied by a Georgia State Patrol cruiser.

WARNING: Explicit language in reaction to gunfire at the 10 second mark of the video. Viewer discretion is advised.

Columbia County authorities did not name him this morning, but said he was a 58-year-old white male from Sullivan, Ill.

The interstate was reopened on both sides, but there was no immediate word from authorities on what had occurred. What appeared to be a body was visible on an embankment near the top of the Chamblin Road overpass, with a spotlight from an ambulance shining on it.

Columbia County dispatch received a call about the suicide threat at 6:23 p.m., and police shut down both sides of the interstate from exits 183 to 193. The man was under the Cham­blin Road overpass, and that bridge was also closed.

At 10:42 p.m., after hours of no reports from authorities, a large explosion was heard coming from the bridge, followed by gunshots. Minutes later, an ambulance arrived accompanied by a Georgia State Patrol cruiser.

Comments (46) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Fiat_Lux
16454
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/26/13 - 08:29 am
14
9
Spent 2 hours stuck in this mess.

It's amazing that someone would decide this was a good way to end his life. My apologies to the sensitive, but my sympathy is quite limited for someone who would forcibly involve thousands of other people in his personal mess.

They should have pulled a few semis underneath the bridges on both sides of I-20 and nailed him with a tranquilizer dart.

If it turns out he's not a total loon, and after he gets his meds adjusted, he needs to get a bill for the chaos he forced other people to deal with.

[Obviously, this comment was posted before the final outcome was made public. The assessment is unchanged, however.]

blues550
380
Points
blues550 08/25/13 - 11:01 pm
0
0
Suicide
Unpublished

Anytime someone tries to take their own life it is a tragedy.

whyme
2128
Points
whyme 08/25/13 - 11:07 pm
10
17
Not so sensitive, just insightful

While one is entitled to his or her opinion, comments such as those above are what keep the mental health field stigmatized. How dare a person with possible psychiatric issues inconvenience his fellow citizens by tying up traffic and being obligated to repay everyone who felt that his life might be worth saving. Terms like "total loon" are even more encouraging, aren't they? Shame on him for not killing himself in the privacy of his own home or seeking help if he could only find someone willing to give it without judgement. No wonder people who suffer from depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions do not get the help they need. They are forever labeled "crazy", "kooks", or other similar derogatory terms. While it is certainly possible that this person was attention-seeking, this too would be a judgement call based on nothing that was presented in the article and surely not from anyone at the scene sharing details. I only hope that those who joined the above writer with a lack of sympathy never experiences symptoms of mental illness nor has a family member who is need of assistance. No worries, however, as those of us who work in the field will provide you with the sensitivity and sympathy that you are unwilling to show someone else, even free of charge, and we will not treat you as an inconvenience, even if you take up hours of our time.

scoopdedoop64
2522
Points
scoopdedoop64 08/25/13 - 11:08 pm
5
5
The guy needs help

I have to agree with you. I am sorry the man is having problems but if he is really intent on hurting himself there is no need to do it in front of all these people and cause all this trouble. He probably just wants help so bad he doesn't know what to do to get attention for it. Either way I hope the guy gets help.

Darby
29611
Points
Darby 08/25/13 - 11:25 pm
12
5
Words have meaning...

Loon is a valid word. I have no problem with it. I'm a bit loony myself at times.

Dixieman
17635
Points
Dixieman 08/26/13 - 01:47 am
12
6
There is no excuse

for screwing up the lives of others with your personal problems. That's why they're "personal". If you are going to kill yourself, don't do it in this fashion which messes with the rest of us!

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/26/13 - 05:13 am
10
15
Thanks to the above posters
Unpublished

Thanks to the above posters who've given me material for the book I'm working on: "The Ironies of the Bible Belt."

Jason Hasty
145
Points
Jason Hasty 08/26/13 - 05:18 am
5
8
palmetto 1008

They do not represent me, sir.

corgimom
38835
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 06:12 am
9
8
I do not understand someone

I do not understand someone who lacks compassion for someone that is seriously mentally ill, with an illness that they didn't ask for and who is suffering.

rmwhitley
5547
Points
rmwhitley 08/26/13 - 05:51 am
0
0
We had
Unpublished

the same thing happen here in Holly Springs a few months ago.

WAG
287
Points
WAG 08/26/13 - 06:29 am
6
6
My my my have you no

My my my have you no compassion. Do yu not realize if he is mentally ill he may not even know what he is doing. Guess we don't have to worry about it anymore. he is dead. Sorry for the families loss.

GnipGnop
12765
Points
GnipGnop 08/26/13 - 06:52 am
12
4
I have compassion

my problem is this. These problems didn't just occur overnight. Someone knew he had problems. Someone let it go or disregarded it or just didn't care. When it got to the point that it involved him or her putting others in danger my compassion ends. You don't pet a rabid dog, you put him down. It's that simple. Your rights end where everyone elses begin. I refuse to be PC and give any one compassion that puts any other person at risk. Thats why these things happen. Nobody wants to make a stand or say something bad. Then when these people explode because of either refusal to take their medicine or their families and friends ignorance of their mental issues everyone is shocked.

nocnoc
49829
Points
nocnoc 08/26/13 - 06:41 am
8
3
Tranq his butt

I agree why not start Tranquilizing these bozo's?

Or even use the Moving Kevlar Wall of Riot shields approach?

corgimom
38835
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 06:56 am
5
7
GnipGnop, sorry, mental

GnipGnop, sorry, mental illness just isn't that simple.

There is no cure for mental illness. And medicines don't always control it, sometimes they stop working, and people can go into crises for all sorts of reasons.

And there are people that take their medicines faithfully, and have supportive families, and they still get very, very sick. And it can come without warning.

There is still so much that is unknown about the human brain, we really don't know much about it.

Me, I choose compassion for anybody that is ill. Because nobody chooses to be sick, and nobody would ever choose to be suicidal.

Fiat_Lux
16454
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/26/13 - 07:27 am
11
3
It's not a lack of compassion

It's the cold realities of things like an inability of getting heart attack victims and trauma victims past the totally stalled out traffic, FOR HOURS.

And as GnipGnop so aptly said, this man's problems didn't begin or go unnoticed until last night.

I'm sorry he's dead and I'm sorry he was suffering, but at some point, it's not just about him and his pain and unhappiness any more. His family will grieve and people will blame themselves, because suicide causes damage way above and beyond the worst grief.

Suicide is NEVER the only solution, and ABSOLUTELY NEVER the best solution. It's like jumping off a cliff with other people tied to your belt loops, even if the suicide thinks he's doing everyone a favor. Suicide is never a favor to anyone. Maybe in some cultures it is, but definitely not in ours. If someone genuinely wanted to do others a favor, which includes sparing them the shame and guilt and true misery of their having killed themselves, he would make sure his demise never looked like anything but a tragic accident.

No man is an island, and no man's life is simply and completely his own to dispose this way. Life is a gift that is shared with other people, and while it is possible to do away with it by recklessness or a deliberate, willful act, it is never an act that brings any good for anyone.

Except perhaps a transplant recipient.

seenitB4
98872
Points
seenitB4 08/26/13 - 07:12 am
10
5
Give me a break

Fiat is right...what if YOU are rushing to the hospital or a baby is on the way....this guy isn't the only soul with health problems.

Taze him & let the folks drive on....I bet some needed bathroom breaks & now their car will have to get a good cleaning...

btw..before you jump on my case ..please tell me what you would do if you were sitting there STUCK with a sick baby?

joytotheworld
59
Points
joytotheworld 08/26/13 - 07:13 am
8
1
Obviously most of you have

Obviously most of you have never tried to get a mentally ill family into any facility. After two days if the person says they are okay and want to go home, the mental facility will let them go. This man's family has probably been dealing with this for a long time with no where to go and no help. My heart goes out to those who have been dealing with this and now have this ending.

LillyfromtheMills
14346
Points
LillyfromtheMills 08/26/13 - 07:27 am
7
2
Horrible to say

But the family is probably glad this person is out of his/her misery. Only those that have lived through it would understand.

GnipGnop
12765
Points
GnipGnop 08/26/13 - 07:30 am
10
5
Sorry corgi

But neither is burying your family memebers when they are killed by people with mental illness. I had a neighbor who had a mentally ill son that was in a mental hospital. She wanted him home for the holidays against his doctor's wioshes. Her husband was so scared he went to stay in a motel for the holidays. After nobody heard from her for several days the cops went to do a wellness check. They found her beaten to death with a stool. A lot of times people don't want to admit the problems their family members have. Once again, their rights end where ours begin. My mom worked at Georgia Regional for 30 years. I know all about mental illness and it's effects on people's lives. I have compassion for those that struggle with it but I have more compassion for those who are innocent and are touched by the violence caused by it.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11294
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/26/13 - 07:36 am
9
8
Ignorance

Some posters on here are showing their ignorance. No one had to be stuck on I 20 for hours. They were allowed to turn around and go back to the next exit and get off and find an alternate route. As for the mental state, would you want to read this column and these comments if that had been your relative. Back down people.

seenitB4
98872
Points
seenitB4 08/26/13 - 07:40 am
14
0
We empty our hospitals

This is what happens when we empty hospitals that are so needed in todays world...mental illness won't go away.

Fiat_Lux
16454
Points
Fiat_Lux 08/26/13 - 08:24 am
4
5
@JoytotheWorld

My heart goes out to his family as well. They have a tough row to hoe ahead of them, even if by some stretch there is a sense of relief at his suffering coming to an end.

The problem is that so many, many people have become accustomed to believing they can make the whole world stop and focus on them. Perhaps this guy was not like that, but he could well have been.

Suicide may have been his end game, if someone couldn't talk him out of it, but he sure held a lot of people hostage in the process. People were stuck for hours even after the drama ended because their cars ran out of gas after inching forward for four hours without being able to get off the interstate.

It is amazing that the Georgia State Highway Patrol didn't direct people off the EB interstate at Thomson and direct them by detour signs how to get back on I-20 east of the drama. That would have been pretty easy to do. But they let traffic just back on up, way west of Thomson. We ran into the jam a mile past the last Thomson exit. There was no place to get off, not even a LEO cut through, between Thomson and exit 183.

Even then, the highway patrol officer directing people off I-20 EB didn't give drivers any information about how to get around to the other side of the shutdown. There was one cop directing traffic at exit 183 and no detour signs anywhere. People were crossing over the overpass and heading back to Thomson instead of being directed through Grovetown or onto Columbia Road.

The Georgia State Highway Patrol could have done a whole lot more than they did to help people stuck on the interstate. I'm fairly disgusted at their lack of effort and manpower. Even calling in Columbia and McDuffie county LEOs to direct traffic would have made a huge difference.

seenitB4
98872
Points
seenitB4 08/26/13 - 07:44 am
8
2
gnipgnop

I 100% agree with this...

but I have more compassion for those who are innocent and are touched by the violence caused by it.

I also have kin who have worked at at Gracewood & The Regional.

corgimom
38835
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 07:52 am
5
5
I haven't lived in that area

I haven't lived in that area for years, but even I know that you go towards Thomson and get on Hwy 278. That'll get you to Augusta.

corgimom
38835
Points
corgimom 08/26/13 - 07:56 am
4
2
By the way, back in 2002, I

By the way, back in 2002, I was on my way to my dying father and I-20 got backed up on both sides with a terrible accident. A Greyhound bus had slammed into the back of a tractor trailer, and it was very bad, with fatalities expected. We turned around, went back to the nearest exit, went south and picked up Highway 278 and got around it.

What CBBP said.

Dixieman
17635
Points
Dixieman 08/26/13 - 08:09 am
5
3
Suicide...

...is always a tragedy. BUT -- don't drag others into your problems!

AutumnLeaves
10443
Points
AutumnLeaves 08/26/13 - 08:14 am
7
5
That's nice, that people were

That's nice, that people were "allowed" to turn around on the interstate. I want to know how you know it is "allowed" and how do you do it? Do you cross over the median without destroying your car? Or do you play chicken turning around and facing head on people driving the "right" way in the passing lane? Were there police there directing you to turn around if you wanted to and spotting to make sure no one was coming head on at you? Turning around seems simple but surviving it, not so much, unless there is someone directing traffic. Around here, even that is a gamble. Does someone know how this "turn around" was handled, in case I ever get stuck in a similar situation, I want to know how to do that.

internationallyunknown
5073
Points
internationallyunknown 08/26/13 - 08:22 am
5
5
Am I My Brother's Keeper?

Moral Decay on MANY LEVELS in society.

"Drag others into your problems..."???

Imagine if he shot up a school where a family member of your's would have been...now, it would be YOUR PROBLEM.

PRAYERS TO THE FAMILY!

My point is when we as a society turn back to God and realize that we are all in this together, maybe, JUST MAYBE, things will begin to change.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
11294
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 08/26/13 - 08:24 am
6
3
Monday Morning quarterbacks!

I guess several of you could have taken care of the entire problem with no one being inconvenienced! Your lack of knowledge about the manpower allotment and how it was distributed and what was necessary is apparent.

Pops
14968
Points
Pops 08/26/13 - 08:29 am
0
3
Gnipgnop

Blueberry Drive?

Back to Top
loading...
Top headlines

December pet adoptions fall at Augusta shelter

After peaking at 120 adoptions in 2011, December has fallen from its spot as the most popular pet adoption month at Augusta Animal Services.
Search Augusta jobs