Columbus police wound man reported to be firing from SUV on I-185

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.comApril 8, 2013 

Authorities still were unsure Monday why a motorist parked alongside Interstate 185 was shooting from his vehicle before being wounded in a confrontation with Columbus police.

The as-yet unidentified man was in surgery Monday evening for at least one gunshot wound to his shoulder, said Special Agent in Charge Wayne Smith of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which as an outside agency is probing the police shooting. The man was shot as he pointed a gun at two police officers cautiously approaching his sport-utility vehicle, prompting at least on of the officers to fire on him, Smith said.

Police were responding to complaints of the driver’s firing from the automobile about 1:30 p.m. on the northbound side of the interstate, between Smith Road and Williams Road, authorities said.

Smith said the motorist had his seat reclined as the officers walked up.

“They approached very cautiously,” Smith said of the officers. “They could not tell if there was anybody inside. And then when they got up close to him, the driver brandished a weapon, and he was shot.”

Witness interviews have confirmed that much of the story, he said.

“We have finished processing the scene and doing the initial interviews — nothing has come out of that that was not expected,” Smith said. “It was as we thought the sequence of events had taken place. There were really no surprises.”

According to the latest information he had Monday evening, the suspect was expected to survive his injuries, Smith said, though such optimism was guarded. The man was being treated at The Medical Center.

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