GBI: High-speed chase in Evans County ends in gunfire exchange, suspect dead
EVANS COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - A high-speed police chase through Evans County on Friday night resulted in gunfire exchange, killing a 29-year-old man.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Evans County Sheriff’s Office requested their assistance around 10:30 p.m. following an officer-involved shooting off Firetower Road in Claxton.
In a press release, the GBI stated preliminary information indicates that several law enforcement agencies were conducting a roadblock/license check at Highways 129 and 169 in Evans County, when a Kia Rio approached the checkpoint.
The GBI stated the driver, later identified as Ramone Dwight, of Claxton, told a Georgia State Patrol Trooper that he didn’t have his driver’s license on him, and provided the trooper a false name. The trooper went to verify if the driver’s license was valid.
According to GBI, the trooper returned to Dwight’s vehicle and asked him to get out.
“At that time, Dwight sped away from the checkpoint” according to the press release. “As law enforcement officers were chasing the vehicle, Dwight began to shoot at the officers, striking multiple law enforcement vehicles.”
The GBI also added that a female passenger was pushed from the car.
The police chase reached speeds over 100 mph, according to the agency.
The GBI said numerous PIT maneuver attempts were made, but the chase ended when Dwight lost control of his vehicle off Ponderosa Road and Firetower Road.
“Once stopped, Dwight got out of his vehicle and ran while firing at officers,” the press release stated. “An Evans County Sheriff’s Office deputy and a Hagan Police Department officer fired their weapons as Dwight was shooting and pointing a weapon in the direction of several officers. Both officers discharged their guns, striking Dwight.”
According to GBI, officers began to render aid to Dwight, and EMS transported him to Evans Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
During a search of the area where officers shot Dwight, officers found a semi-automatic handgun, GBI said.
No officers were injured in the incident. The female passenger was not seriously injured. Dwight will be taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Pooler for an autopsy.
The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, it will be turned over to the Atlantic Judicial Circuit DA’s office for review.
One neighbor and long time friend still can’t believe it happened. She described 29-year-old Ramone Dwight, also known as RJ, as a good guy she’s known for six or seven years. The shooting happened a few doors from her home in the mobile home park a few feet away.
“It hurts because he didn’t have to do this. He could have just got out, surrendered, gave up and face whatever you’ve got to face. Now, it’s over with. You’re gone,” said Tessa Hines.
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