GBI investigating after Savannah police shoot robbery suspect

The GBI is investigating after Savannah police shot a robbery suspect who pointed a weapon at an officer, officials said Monday.

A man flagged down an officer around 4:30 a.m. Saturday, saying he had been robbed at gunpoint, according to a GBI news release. The man gave the officer a description of the suspect and a name: Zachary Smith.

By about 5 a.m., officers located a man fitting the suspect’s description in an area between White Bluff Road and Abercorn Street, the release states.

Officers chased the man, later confirmed to be 24-year-old Smith, through an apartment complex and commercial business area, ending in the parking lot of a business in the 9100 White Bluff Road, according to the news release. While running, Smith allegedly pointed his weapon at the officer. The officer fired at Smith, hitting him in the leg.

Smith, of Ellabell, was taken to a hospital and is said to be stable, the news release states. No officers were injured, and GBI investigators recovered a weapon from the scene. It is not clear what type of weapon was found.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once completed, it will turn over its findings to the Chatham County District Attorney’s Office for review.

The incident is the 16th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year.

On Friday, the GBI opened an investigation after a suspect in a Middle Georgia police chase shot at an East Dublin police officer and the officer returned fire, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported previously. The officer was not injured, and the suspect escaped and was not identified.

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.