Officer fatally shoots hit-and-run suspect while being dragged by truck, investigators say

Published: May. 7, 2023 at 5:50 AM EDT
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BRYAN COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC/Gray News) - A investigation into a deadly officer-involved shooting is underway in Georgia after a law enforcement officer fatally shot a hit-and-run suspect who allegedly dragged him about one-tenth of a mile down the highway.

A witness says she saw a truck hit another truck and then drive off around 7 p.m. Thursday at a Marathon gas station off Highway 280 in Bryan County, Georgia. That’s when a state Motor Carrier Compliance Officer got involved, WTOC reports.

“That truck, the one that they just took away was slowed down to turn, and the other truck just hit him. The cop was right here about to get out,” the witness said.

According to the witness, the officer followed the truck as it left the crash scene.

“He was getting out, and then he got back in when he witnessed that hit-and-run. The truck took off. The cop took off after him,” she said.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who has taken over the investigation, the driver of the truck has been identified as 29-year-old Walter Kye Herman of Ellabell.

The GBI says Herman stopped the truck after a short pursuit. They say the officer approached Herman’s door and spoke with him before attempting to place handcuffs on him. That’s when they say Herman sped off while the officer was still reaching inside the truck.

The GBI says the officer was dragged about one-tenth of a mile. The truck then hit a road sign and began to travel off the roadway down a steep embankment, according to the GBI. They say that is when the officer fired his weapon, causing both he and Herman to fall from the car, which eventually came to a stop.

The GBI says Herman died at the scene.

The officer was taken to a hospital to be treated for his injuries. The Bryan County Sheriff’s Office says the officer sustained a broken leg, and there is no indication they were run over.

The GBI says their investigation remains active and ongoing. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be given to the Atlantic Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.

This is the 36th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been asked to investigate in 2023.