Coweta County deputy shoots man after chase and crash, GBI says

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Channel 2's Christian Jennings learned this all started when a deputy found the driver sleeping in a car.

A man is in critical condition after a police chase and car wreck led to an officer-involved shooting in Coweta County, according to the GBI.

A deputy said he shot Nicholas Bolton, 34, while trying to keep him from hitting another deputy with a car, according to GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles.

The shooting happened at the Newnan Crossing Shopping Center near Bullsboro Drive about 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Miles said.

 

A deputy was on patrol at the shopping center when he noticed a car parked in the lot behind the T-Mobile cellphone store, Miles said. The deputy notified dispatch and got out of his patrol car to investigate.

Miles said the deputy saw the man, later identified as Bolton, in the back seat of the vehicle. Bolton appeared to be asleep, Miles said.

The deputy asked Bolton for his driver’s license and told the man to get out of the car, Miles said. The deputy called for backup after Bolton refused to comply with either command, according to the GBI.

Both deputies told Bolton he was loitering and said he would be arrested if he didn’t hand over his license, Miles said. That’s when Bolton climbed into the driver’s seat of the car, cranked the vehicle and sped away.

A third deputy arrived to help, and a chase ensued, Miles said. The deputies used a PIT maneuver to stop Bolton’s car, which spun around and hit one of the patrol cars.

Bolton’s car was still running, wheels spinning, immediately after the crash, Miles said. One of the deputies tried to box in Bolton’s car with a patrol car, then walked over to talk to him, she said. Another deputy shot through Bolton’s front windshield “after he saw what he believed to be Bolton actively trying to drive his vehicle in the direction of the deputy” who had gotten out of the patrol car, Miles said.

Bolton was taken to Atlanta Medical Center. No officers were injured in the shooting, Miles said.

The incident is the 38th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate this year. The last officer-involved shooting happened June 20 when a man led police on a chase in a stolen vehicle after a reported domestic disturbance in Statesboro.

RELATED: Man in critical condition after shooting himself following chase, GBI says

Officer-involved shootings in 2019 

The shooting is the 38th incident involving a law enforcement officer in 2019, according to the GBI, which investigates most officer involved shootings. 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.