Augusta fatal shooting by SWAT officer: How it unfolded

Investigators on April 16, 2020, look over the site where a SWAT officer fatally shot Goldie...
Investigators on April 16, 2020, look over the site where a SWAT officer fatally shot Goldie Bellinger the night before at an Augusta Super 8 motel.(WRDW)
Published: Apr. 16, 2020 at 4:33 AM EDT
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Thursday, April 16, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A standoff at an Augusta motel ended with the death of a South Carolina man who was shot by a law enforcement officer.

Richmond County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on the scene for hours after the standoff began just after 8:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Super 8 motel at 3026 Washington Road.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is running the inquiry into the case.

The agency said Thursday that the standoff began after deputies were sent to check on the welfare of motel guest Goldie Bellinger, 39, of Williston, S.C.

Deputies made contact with him but he refused to speak with them and barricaded himself in a room, according to GBI. The sheriff's agency said he closed the door, pulled back the curtains, presented a firearm and pointed it at deputies.

Richmond County SWAT negotiators attempted multiple times to make contact with Bellinger, the sheriff's agency reported. SWAT team members eventually tried to enter the motel room, but Bellinger fired on them with a handgun, the sheriff's agency reported.

GBI reported that three SWAT team members returned fire, striking Bellinger.

Emergency medical personnel tried to render aid, but Bellinger was pronounced dead at 12:25 a.m. Thursday, according to the sheriff's agency.

Bellinger’s body was taken to the GBI crime lab in Decatur, where an autopsy will be performed.

Upon completion of the GBI's independent investigation, a report will be turned over to the Richmond County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Three deputies have been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.

No officers were injured.

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