Attempted Murder Turned Suicide In Burke County

By: Kate Tillotson
By: Kate Tillotson

Officers say Arthur Oliver drove to his home on Thomson
Bridge road and fired shots into his wife's car while she
and their two children were in it.

Deputies then tracked him down as he pulled into the
Sheriff's parking lot on Highway 24. It's there they say he shot himself in the head.

The shooting could affect security at the Sheriff's Office.

Sergeant Dedrick Smith knows all too well... what happened
in the parking lot could have easily escalated. "Several folks
Inside the office come running out, they could have very
well been run over by the vehicle."

Or even worse... shot... by the .380 handgun used by
Arthur Oliver to take his own life. It happened outside
the Sheriff's Office and right across the street from
Augusta Tech and the public library.

Sheriff Gregory Coursey says "of course, that's a first. Never
Had that happen." The first time in nearly thirty years for the Sheriff.

Coursey says "He could have gotten in the front door
But this is as far as he could have gotten." News 12 was shocked to learn Oliver could have walked into the front door, armed and dangerous. Unlike Richmond, Columbia and Aiken Counties, Burke County has no metal detectors. Sheriff Coursey says "it's something that we're gonna
probably, maybe after today, consider."

While no one is searched, Coursey insists the building is safe. He points to six video cameras, constantly streaming video onto multiple screens.
And new this year, a security wall. It's bullet-resistant and locked. The only way to get in, is to be buzzed in. And don't forget - scattered throughout - trained professionals like Sergeant Smith... who in Oliver's case,
allowed no one else to get hurt.

It's tight security, says Coursey, for a small, rural office like his, with or without metal detectors. He says "We've never really had any problems with
anybody coming in here and we don't anticipate it."


Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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