Deputies mistake man for murder suspect

Peter Butler (left) was mistaken for Richard Timmons, Jr. (right) who is accused of shooting...
Peter Butler (left) was mistaken for Richard Timmons, Jr. (right) who is accused of shooting and killing his wife.(WRDW)
Published: Feb. 12, 2018 at 5:17 PM EST
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Monday, Feb. 12, 2018

(News 12 at 5:30)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) – As law enforcement secured the medical district on Friday afternoon, a local family going to the VA got caught up in the fray, so caught up, law enforcement thought the driver was the suspect they were looking for.

“At this time, we are looking for a black male in a white SUV who has fled the scene,” said Richmond County Sgt. Will McCarty

Minutes after Jaz-na Outlaw-Timmons was shot, the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office releases a description. Peter Butler fit the bill.

“They told us that uh...I match the description of a suspect of an active shooter...”

Peter, his wife, and four children were headed to the downtown VA for an appointment when their vehicle was surrounded by law enforcement.

“We were like ‘Wait a minute, what’s going on? Why are they pointing at us?’ so they run up to our car, and they immediately pull their guns out at us.”

He says the officers told him he looked like Richard Lyle Timmons, Jr. and he had a similar vehicle. His, a 2017 white Chevrolet Traverse. Timmons? 2010.

You can hear law enforcement explaining the situation in a Facebook Live that Peter’s wife recorded.

“You gotta understand what we’re looking for; we got a vehicle here, two people they can see in it, one that match the description...they’re gonna come up here and check it.”

His wife, shocked and crying.

“Um, it was really no words she could say.”

No words for her, but for Peter, he had a few.

“I was just like ‘oh my god, this guy doesn’t even look like me.’”

A scary situation for the Butler family, but Peter says he knows the deputies were just doing their jobs.

Peter told me his family was so shaken up, they actually left Augusta immediately and headed straight for Chicago on Friday where his parents live. After serving many years in the military, he says he’s never seen so many weapons pointed in his direction, an experience he hopes never happens again.