The Rockdale County man responsible for a deadly shooting spree died from a self-inflicted gunshot to the head, not from the bullets from a deputy’s gun, the GBI said Friday.
Jeffrey Pitts, 36, shot and killed two people inside a package store Sunday afternoon before returning to his Ebenezer Road home and shooting his parents, wounding both, the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office said. When deputies arrived at the home, Pitts was armed with an assault rifle and wearing a bullet-proof vest, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Dashboard camera video released Friday depicts the end of the shooting spree, which ended with more gunfire. Pitts is accused of firing shots at deputies, who then returned fire, police have said.
“Get on the ground! Get on the ground now!” a deputy screamed at Pitts.
Pitts’ actions aren’t entirely visible in the video, filled with the sounds of gunfire and screams. But the sounds of gunfire outside the brick ranch home end when Pitts is shot. He died at the scene, according to police.
An autopsy conducted by the GBI ruled Pitts’ death a suicide, a spokeswoman for the agency said Friday.
“The results of the autopsy are that the manner of death is suicide and the cause of death is contact range gunshot wound of head,” GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang said.
Sunday’s shooting spree began after an altercation between Pitts and a clerk inside the package store, according to police. The clerk had retained Pitts’ driver’s license during a dispute, and Pitts pulled a gun on the clerk, Rockdale Sheriff Eric Levett said.
Pitts left the store but later returned, firing shots at employees and customers, killing two people. Mun Hyuk Cha, a 44-year-old clerk, and Otonicar Jimquez Aikens, a 39-year-old customer, were shot and killed at Magnet Package Store, Levett said.
Another customer, Todd C. Scott, of Covington, opened fire with his own hand gun, forcing Pitts to leave the store, Levett said the day after the incident. The Sheriff credited Scott with saving lives.
“I consider him to be a hero,” Levett said.
From the store, Pitts drove about five miles to this parents’ home, where he shot and wounded Alan Pitts, 63, and Judith Pitts, 64. Both were hospitalized in stable condition.
The Rockdale Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to investigate the incident. The GBI will turns its findings over to the District Attorney, Lang said.