Fulton deputy shoots, kills man who broke into his home, GBI says

The GBI, at the request of the Atlanta Police Department, is investigating a fatal shooting in which a Fulton County deputy confronted a man in nearby woods after the deputy's home was apparently robbed. (Photo: Channel 2 Action News)

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The GBI, at the request of the Atlanta Police Department, is investigating a fatal shooting in which a Fulton County deputy confronted a man in nearby woods after the deputy's home was apparently robbed. (Photo: Channel 2 Action News)

A Fulton County sheriff’s deputy shot and killed a man who allegedly had broken into the deputy’s southeast Atlanta home Saturday night, according to law enforcement officials.

The deputy, who has not been identified, had been returning home from his shift just before midnight when he received a security camera notification that showed a man breaking into his residence on Springside Drive, according to the GBI, which is investigating the shooting at the request of the Atlanta Police Department.

In his personal vehicle — but still wearing his uniform and equipment — the deputy began following the man after he spotted him walking away from the property while carrying tools and other items that were later determined to be taken from the deputy’s home, according to a GBI news release.

The deputy followed the man down a gravel road until the man stepped off the road into the woods, the GBI said. That’s when the deputy got out of his car and found the man in the woods where the two “had an altercation,” and the deputy shot the man. When Atlanta police arrived, they found the deputy performing CPR on the man.

The deputy sustained a minor injury to his ankle, and the alleged intruder was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died, according to the GBI. State authorities identified that deceased as 59-year-old Bobby Lee Sutton.

The back door to the deputy’s house was kicked in, and the items found in the woods had been taken from his home, according to reports.

After the GBI completes its investigation, the case will be turned over to the Fulton County district attorney to determine whether any charges are appropriate.

Saturday’s incident is Georgia’s sixth officer-involved shooting the GBI has investigated this year, according to GBI data, and it’s the third resulting in a fatality. No officers were injured in the five earlier shootings.

Dade County had the first police shooting on Jan. 3 when a man accused of stealing a car was shot by Alabama deputies after he allegedly drove toward them, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported. Ethan Wayne Rogers, 32, of Fort Payne, Alabama, survived the encounter in far northwest Georgia and was taken to a Chattanooga, Tennessee, hospital.

Then, between Jan. 6 and 9, four people were injured in police shootings.

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In Gordon County, police were responding to a burglary when 37-year-old Jose Brito Lopez was shot and killed after he did not comply with the officers’ commands to “show them his hands,” The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported among previous coverage of this year’s officer-involved shootings.

The next day, Tobias Maddox, 39, was shot in the leg when he fired a gun while running from Columbus police, according to reports.

Early on Jan. 9, a Georgia State Patrol trooper shot 17-year-old Taliyah Williams as she ran from the scene of another police chase, law enforcement officials said, and later that same day, Denrick Demond Stallings, 47, was shot and killed after leading Crawford County sheriff’s deputies on a high-speed chase.

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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.

— Please return to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for updates.