Man Columbus police wounded April 8 on I-185 out of hospital, in jail

tchitwood@ledger-enquirer.comApril 19, 2013 

The man police wounded in a confrontation April 8 along Interstate 185 is out of the hospital and in jail, authorities said Friday.

Timothy Delbridge Jr., 21, faces charges of aggravated assault, using a firearm to commit a crime and reckless conduct, according to Muscogee County Jail records. His bonds total $21,000.

A police officer shot Delbridge that Monday afternoon after witnesses reported the man was parked beside the interstate and shooting into the woods, said Special Agent in Charge Wayne Smith of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which is probing the police shooting.

Smith said a female officer was the first to arrive at the site between exits for Smith Road and Williams Road, and waited for backup. When a second officer got there, they cautiously approached Delbridge's vehicle with guns drawn, Smith said.

Adding to the uncertainty as to what they faced were the heavy tint on the windows of Delbridge's sport-utility vehicle and the driver's having reclined his seat at more than a 45-degree angle, Smith said. As the male officer approached the driver's side, he saw that Delbridge was pointing a pistol over his shoulder at police and opened fire.

"The officer on the driver's side saw him with a gun and saw what appeared to him to point that gun over his shoulder, and there's nothing we've come across that disputes that at all," Smith said. "He fired on him at that point, so it's fairly straight-forward as to the events on the side of the road."

The GBI investigation is limited to the officers' actions, he said. Columbus police will handle the aggravated assault case, he said.

Delbridge initially was listed in unsatisfactory condition in The Medical Center's intensive care unit. He underwent surgery April 8 for at least one gunshot wound to his shoulder, authorities said. Police said Officer Whitney Foster and Sgt. Edwin Wilkins were the first to confront Delbridge.

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