One man dead after shooting at officers during traffic stop on I-16, police say

Published: Jul. 3, 2023 at 2:53 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 3, 2023 at 6:09 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Effingham County, Ga. (WTOC) - Multiple agencies are investigating after an attempted traffic stop in Effingham County turned deadly late Sunday night.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, deputies from the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on Old River Road around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday. The GBI said the driver, identified as 40-year-old Sam Knight, of Brooklet, got out of the truck and spoke with a deputy.

The GBI said when the deputy walked to the passenger side of the truck, Knight ran to the truck and drove away. Knight traveled several miles down Old River Road before turning onto the westbound on ramp of Interstate 16.

The news release from the GBI said Knight began firing at the pursuing deputy, and the deputy returned fire. The chase ended in a wreck. They say that after the man’s car crashed, he started shooting at officers again. Law enforcement officers returned fire. Knight was hit multiple times and died at the scene, according to the GBI.

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia State Patrol, and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are all investigating the shooting. Police haven’t said why they were pulling the man over.

“We always want to make sure that every officer involved shooting is thoroughly documented and is thoroughly investigated so that that ways should anything arise out of it, we have all the information that we need, so it takes time to go through all the fine details,” Sgt. Jennifer Fleming, with the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, said.

I-16 between Bloomingdale Road and Route 280 was shut down for several hours Monday while agencies were investigating the shooting.

“We’re trying to get everything taken care of in a quick fashion, as quickly as we possibly can considering the incident, and obviously having a big portion of I-16 closed in both directions. So, cooperation with the different agencies is much appreciated,” Brian Bailey, public information officer with the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, said.

Knight’s body will be taken to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office in Pooler for an autopsy.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, the case file will be given to the Ogeechee District Attorney’s Office for review.

People living in a neighborhood just down the road from where the chase started. They were surprised to hear about the incident.

“It was probably three quarters of a mile from my house and it’s usually quiet out here except for the noise off the interstate. That’s mostly all we hear out here. I’ve been living out here 40 years and it’s just not normal,” Richard Cheely said.