Sheriff: Gordon County deputies shoot, kill man during undercover drug bust

North Georgia sheriff’s deputies shot and killed a man they say pointed a semi-automatic rifle at them during an undercover drug deal Monday night, according to authorities.

Deputies in Gordon County had been investigating the distribution of methamphetamine and marijuana near the intersection of Brookline Circle and Dews Pond Road, about six miles east of Calhoun, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. It was around 9:30 p.m. when they met with a pair of men who they say had advertised the sale of drugs on social media and offered a large amount of controlled substances.

The meeting was arranged at a vacant house, and when the undercover deputies arrived, the two men met them with the drugs, the news release states. The officers made the exchange and then identified themselves as deputies and attempted to make arrests. But one of the suspects, who was carrying a firearm, took out a shortened AK-47-type weapon and threatened the deputies, the sheriff’s office said.

The GBI identified that suspect as 26-year-old Walter Lee Osborne Jr. in a news release Tuesday. Deputies opened fire on Osborne, killing him at the scene, according to the GBI.

The second suspect, who investigators were still trying to identify, ran away. Deputies conducted an “intensive” search of the area, including the use of K-9 units, but were unable to locate him, the release states.

The GBI said agents recovered two guns and an unspecified amount of drugs after the bust.

According to the sheriff’s office, Osborne’s jail records showed that he had been arrested multiple times within Gordon County, and at the time of his death he was out of jail on a $20,000 bond for an aggravated assault charge.

The deputies involved in the shooting have been placed on administrative leave. The GBI has been asked to conduct a separate investigation.

It marks the 73rd officer-involved shooting the GBI has investigated this year.

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