UPDATE: Sheriff: No evidence of any wrongdoing, use of force policy followed in officer-involved shooting

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email

Friday, Feb. 1, 2013

Update:

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The GBI and the Richmond County sheriff held a joint news conference on Friday afternoon to discuss the deputy-involved shooting that happened early Friday morning.

GBI Special Agent Pat Morgan says the incident started around 2:20 a.m. when deputies initiated a vehicle pursuit that ended near the Church's Chicken on Wrightsboro Road near Fox Trace Drive.

The driver of that car, later identified as 21-year-old Chaz Williams, ran from the car after striking a fixed object, initiating a foot chase.

Deputies on the scene later located Williams at the Fox Den Apartments on Fox Trace Drive.

Morgan says an attempt was made to take him into custody and that during this attempt, one of the officers involved discharged his firearm. The GBI could not release how many shots were fired, but it appears there was more than one gunshot in the suspect's body. Morgan said he could not disclose where Williams was shot.

Morgan says there were weapons inside the home and that a knife was involved in the altercation.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree identified the deputy who fired at the suspect as Michael Woodard. He said Woodard is a five-year veteran and is taking his regularly scheduled days off at this time.

Roundtree says there are no plans to suspend Woodard from duty at this time, as there is no evidence that any wrongdoing took place. No disciplinary action has been taken at this time.

"We believe everything was in line with the use of force policy," Roundtree said.

Roundtree said officers go through deadly force training once a year and that deadly force is used to defend yourself or a third-party or to prevent a forcible felony.

When asked if deputies could have used a Taser in this situation, Roundtree said deputies do not have Tasers at this time and that the program is being implemented within 30 days.

Williams' body was taken to the Augusta Crime Lab where an autopsy will be performed on Saturday morning.

The GBI continues to investigate this case.

Initial report:

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- News 12 has learned the name of the suspect killed in Friday morning's officer-involved shooting.

Deputy Coroner Kenneth Boose says the deceased is 21-year-old Chaz Williams. Boose says Williams lived at Fox Den Apartments.

The shooting happened around 4 a.m. Friday on Fox Trace off of Wrightsboro Road.

A Richmond County deputy was serving a warrant at the apartment complex Friday morning. When the deputy arrived, gunfire was exchanged between the deputy and Williams.

News 12 has not learned the name of the deputy involved at this time. No injuries have been reported for the officer.

Williams is no stranger to law enforcement. He was arrested on Aug. 11, 2011, for cocaine. Later that year, Williams was convicted and sentenced to three years of probation as a first-time offender. On Aug. 21 of last year, he was picked up for an expired car tag and suspended or revoked license.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree says GBI is taking over the investigation, which is standard protocol any time an officer is involved in a shooting.

"Our protocol is to notify an outside agency, which we notified the GBI immediately. And we turned the investigation over to them. We also turned this over to the District Attorney's Office. Any further comment from that will be done at a later time," Roundtree said.

A news conference has been planned for 2 p.m. News 12 will keep you updated as information comes into the newsroom.

Here's a list of recent officer-involved shootings in the CSRA:

  • May 2012: Investigators say Craig Jarvis killed his ex-wife before exchanging shots with Public Safety officers in Aiken. Jarvis was hit during the exchange and died at the hospital.
  • May 2012: Deputies shoot and kill Roy Axon after responding to a domestic violence call at his McDuffie County home.
  • January 2013: Deputy Ronald Blanton breaks his ankle during an altercation with a suspect in downtown Augusta. Barry Lee Davis allegedly started fighting deputies while they were trying to arrest him.


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