An officer-involved shooting leaves one man dead. What began as normal
traffic stop for a Richmond County deputy turned into a deadly scene.
A joint news conference was held Friday afternoon with the
Richmond County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. FOX54
was there following the developing story.
What started out as a routine traffic stop for Deputy Michael
Woodard turned into a deadly chase.
Authorities say it happened at the Fox Den apartment complex
around 4 a.m. Friday when 21 year old Chaz Williams was shot.
Deputy Woodard attempted to pull over Williams for a traffic
violation, that's when they say Williams took off in his car which later led to
a foot chase into the apartment complex. That's where deputies say they found
Williams at his apartment.
The special agent in charge, Patrick Morgan of the GBI, said the
shooting happened during an attempt to take Williams into custody.
"During that attempt to take him into custody one of the
officers involved did discharge his firearm and right now as a result of that,
Mr. Williams is deceased," said Agent Morgan.
Shykinca Stephens, William's girlfriend, was in the apartment when
Williams was shot.
"I was in the next room, I heard
the gun shots. I was like no, why, no," Stephens, said.
Stephens is now trying to come to
grips with the fact that she'll have to raise her 6 month old daughter without
"How am I going to describe this
to my daughter? When she gets older and starts asking what am I going to
say?" Stephens asked.
Stephens says her boyfriend spent most
of his life inside a jail. She says he had issues but she was hoping he would
turn his life around.
"He had been going through a lot
in his life, he was military, PTSD, bipolar."
Stephens says when deputies knocked on
her door looking for Williams Friday morning; he was cutting his throat with a
knife and saying he didn't want to go back to jail.
"His neck was gushing out blood, how can you attack
someone? How come you can't stop him from killing himself instead of shooting
him? I don't understand that."
Investigators confirmed Deputy Woodard fired multiple shots, but
they are not talking about what led up to the deputy pulling his gun and
"We have no evidence to support any fact that any wrong doing
was done," said Sheriff Richard Roundtree.
The sheriff's office said Deputy Woodard is a five year veteran of
the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
"At the initial phase, we find no
wrong-doing therefore no officers have been relieved of duty and no
disciplinary action has been filed against that officer at all," said
Copyright 2013 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved
Wednesday, May 22 2013 11:46 PM EDT2013-05-23 03:46:56 GMT
WTOC spoke to a Joplin tornado survivor who has since moved to Effingham County. She says instead of focusing on the past, she is trying to help the victims of the Oklahoma tornado.More >>
Wednesday was an emotional day for Joplin tornado survivors all across the country. WTOC spoke to one survivor who has since moved to Effingham County. She says instead of focusing on the past, she is trying to help the victims of the Oklahoma tornado.More >>