GBI investigating after suspect in postal worker’s death fires at deputies

The sheriff's office requested the GBI to investigate the incident.
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The sheriff's office requested the GBI to investigate the incident.

A 49-year-old North Georgia man is accused of killing a postal worker who was delivering mail and then firing at two deputies, the GBI said Monday.

Banks County deputies received a 911 call about an “intentional shooting” about 9:40 a.m. Saturday on Hebron Road in Commerce, the sheriff’s office said. When they arrived to investigate, they found 59-year-old Asa “Junior” Wood of Commerce dead of a gunshot wound.

Investigators believe Wood had been shot while working on his route in a rural area, located about 80 miles northeast of Atlanta. But no details were released on a possible motive.

Investigators soon identified a “person of interest” and compiled a description of the car that person might be driving. While investigating the homicide, deputies located the suspect’s vehicle, according to the GBI. The suspect was identified as Larry Steven Grogan, 49, of Danielsville.

Deputies spotted the car they were looking for while patrolling the area near Ga. 51 and Bennett Road, the sheriff’s office said. But the driver, later identified as Grogan, sped away from deputies who began a pursuit. Officers were able to stop the car, and Grogan got out and fired shots, according to investigators.

“A vehicle chase began and ended in Grogan leaving the roadway along Ga. Highway 51, near its intersection with Payne Road,” the GBI said in an emailed statement. “Grogan got out of the vehicle and fired a rifle at two deputies.”

The deputies returned fire, injuring Grogan. He was being treated at a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries and several charges are pending against him, the GBI said.

According to the Georgia Department of Corrections, Grogan previously served about nine months following a conviction for aggravated assault against an officer.

The deputies involved in Saturday’s shooting were not injured, but they were placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation by the GBI, the Banks sheriff’s office said.

“The Banks County Sheriff’s Office is working in tandem with the U.S. postal inspectors, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Banks County Coroner’s Office,” the agency said.

The officer-involved shooting was the 59th the GBI has investigated this year. 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.

After the GBI completes its investigation, the agency will release the findings to the Piedmont Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review.