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Details emerge in police chase of man who shot himself, was struck by car

Richmond County Sheriff's Office
Richmond County Sheriff's Office(WRDW)
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 7:38 PM EST
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Incident reports by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office shares details on the moments that led to a man fleeing from deputies before being struck by a car and shooting himself in the hip.

On Tuesday night, deputies said they conducted a traffic stop on 35-year-old Tommy Browner Jr. for “laying drag” in the parking lot of a Circle K on 3102 Deans Bridge Road.

“Laying drag” means a person was driving a vehicle in a zig-zag or circular motion.

After being pulled over, Browner identified himself to authorities under a false name, deputies said. Two others were in the vehicle, including a 16-year-old passenger.

Browner reportedly told deputies he had been smoking marijuana within the hour of being pulled over and that he was driving recklessly to impress a girl in the parking lot.

Deputies said they ordered Browner to exit the vehicle when they observed approximately 1 gram of marijuana near the center console of the car.

At this point, Browner reportedly became defiant and eventually darted away from deputies and into traffic, where he was struck by a sedan.

Deputies say Browner flew approximately 15 to 20 yards, tumbling over the vehicle before striking his head on the pavement.

Browner immediately sprang to his feet, according to the incident report, and continued fleeing to the parking lot of the nearby Tint Shop.

Deputies pursued Browner on foot and attempted to take him into custody.

Browner was able to evade capture again by striking one of the deputies in the left eye and mouth with closed fist, the incident report states.

The deputies then deployed stun guns on Browner, but they were ineffective. He continued fleeing into the woods behind the business, trudging through the high weeds, deputies said.

At this time, Browner reportedly reached into his waistband with his right hand and attempted to draw a small black handgun while deputies ordered him to stop, the incident report reads.

This is when Browner shot himself in the right hip. He reportedly continued to walk away from deputies before collapsing after 20 yards.

Browner continued struggling with deputies while on the ground. According to the report, he began violently shouting homophobic slurs as he kicked one of the deputies in the face. He was eventually detained and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.

The Sheriff’s Office reports Browner will face multiple felony charges once he has been released from the hospital.

The incident report lists several charges he reportedly committed including convicted felons, three counts of obstruction of law enforcement officer, giving a false name and/or date of birth to an officer, interfering with government property and cruelty to children in the second degree.

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