Sheriff Ronnie Strength told a press briefing today that Investigator Tim Tobias shot Joseph Gooden, 26, of the 3000 block of Golden Way, after he had robbed the Captain D's restaurant on Wrightsboro Road.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting, and Investigator Tobias, 41, a 21-year veteran, has been placed on administrative duty.
According to an account provided by the sheriff and others, Mr. Gooden ran into the restaurant between 7:30 and 8 p.m., pointed what appeared to be a rifle or shotgun at a female employee and demanded cash.
The woman fled to the restaurant's office, where the manager was counting money. Mr. Gooden followed, pointed his gun, which turned out to be an air rifle or "BB" gun, at the manager's head and took the money.
Investigator Tobias confronted Mr. Gooden as he tried to leave the restaurant and told him to halt. When he kept coming, witnesses said, the uniformed deputy fired, striking Mr. Gooden.
The suspect collapsed and was later pronounced dead at Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
Four employees and two customers were in the store at the time of the robbery.