Driver reportedly shoots self during traffic stop in Port Wentworth

Driver reportedly shoots self during traffic stop in Port Wentworth
(Source: WTOC)
(Source: WTOC)

PORT WENTWORTH, GA (WTOC) - A suspect reportedly shot himself as deputies approached the vehicle during a traffic stop early Monday morning on Traveler's Way in Port Wentworth.

Two Chatham County Sheriff's Office deputies conducted a traffic stop on the driver of a 2000 Buick Century at about 4:35 a.m. for failing to maintain lane.

According to police, the deputies got behind the vehicle on Interstate 95 South and the car exited onto Exit 109 on Hwy 21. The car exited Hwy 21 on to Traveler's Way and rolled to a stop.

According to the deputy, when he approached the vehicle the driver was suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. The driver - later identified as Steven Michael Holmes from Portsmouth, VA - was reportedly unresponsive and had all the windows and doors locked, so a window was busted.

The deputies contacted GSP and EMS. Holmes was pronounced deceased at about 4:48 p.m.

At a news conference Monday afternoon, Chatham County Sheriff John Wilcher stated that Holmes was a convicted felon and had stolen the Buick from a man in North Carolina.

"It's under my understanding from several different agencies that were working on it that he had stolen the car out of North Carolina. Somebody went into a [shop], left their keys in the car and he jumped in and took off," Sheriff Wilcher said. "You can't take these things as routine traffic stops. You know, these people, some of them are desperate. Some of them don't care and they couldn't care less if they shoot you or shoot your partner or whoever."

A tweet by the Portsmouth, VA Police Department was discovered asking for helping to locate Holmes. He was wanted on a long list of charges, including warrants for attempted murder and child sex crimes.

GBI is investigating the incident.

Stay with for updates to this story.

Copyright 2017 WTOC. All rights reserved.