GBI: Deputy injured by gunfire while responding to 911 call in cemetery

A man called 911 and said he planned to harm himself. When deputies tried to persuade him to turn over his gun, shots rang out.
A man called 911 and said he planned to harm himself. When deputies tried to persuade him to turn over his gun, shots rang out.

An east Georgia deputy was injured Wednesday morning when a 911 call in an Elbert County cemetery ended in gunfire.

The 911 caller was taken into custody after the incident, but it is not clear if he fired the shot that injured the deputy, according to the GBI.

Investigators said the man called 911 just before 4 a.m. and told an Elbert County dispatcher that he planned to harm himself. However, he hung up before the dispatcher could get any information or offer help, the GBI said.

Elbert sheriff’s deputies were able to determine that the call was made from a cemetery on Rehoboth Road in Bowman, the GBI said. Deputies found the man sitting in a pickup truck with a gun in his hand.

When the man told deputies he intended to hurt himself, they tried to get him to surrender the gun, according to the GBI. After more than an hour of negotiating, deputies tried to break into the truck through a side window.

At that point, gunshots rang out. Investigators have not determined if the man fired his weapon, but a deputy fired multiple shots in return.

Amid the gunfire, one of the deputies was shot in the hand. He was taken to a hospital by ambulance and has since been released.

The incident is the 76th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate this year and the second on Wednesday.

A U.S. marshal shot and killed a DeKalb County murder suspect during an arrest, the GBI said.

ExploreGBI: Murder suspect shot, killed during standoff in Decatur

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks police shootings that don’t involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the state agency’s tally.

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