Barnett said Officer Jamie Jones had fired a 40mm sponge round in an attempt to stop Statham. A sponge round is a projectile fired from a standard grenade launcher that has a foam-rubber nose and is meant to disable its target.
“The less lethal munitions did not have the desired effect and the individual continued advancing toward officers in a threatening manner, indicating that he had a firearm,” Barnett said.
Three other officers then fired their weapons at Statham as he continued to advance, according to the statement. They were identified as Sgt. Tim Johnson, Officer Dustin Tilley and Officer Jerold Rogers. They were not injured.
Statham was pronounced dead at the scene, Barnett said. It was later verified that he had felony warrants out of Jackson and Barrow counties, the GBI said. His body will be taken to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy.
This is the ninth officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year, and the first that was fatal.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don’t involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI’s tally.
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