Nearly seven weeks after a man was gunned down on Ticknor Drive, a 22-year-old murder suspect was struck by a Columbus police cruiser after a chase and died Thursday morning near Cusseta Road, authorities said.
Deonte Marces Giles of Columbus was pronounced dead of blunt-force trauma at 11:55 a.m., Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said.
Police Chief Ricky Boren said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating the officer-involved incident that started at Farley Homes, a public housing complex on Nina Street.
Authorities were called to the area to talk with a woman who said someone she knew pointed a gun at her. Police said that individual was identified as Giles, a murder suspect in the April 1 shooting on Ticknor Drive that killed 44-year-old Dudley Jones Jr.
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Officers arrived on the scene and tried to block off the road. Giles wasn’t there when they initially arrived, but Boren said he returned to the scene. He allegedly fled when he saw police, initiating a chase.
Officers in two marked vehicles headed westbound on Cusseta Road near 25th Avenue and passed the suspect as he was driving eastbound, according to police. An individual was in the vehicle with Giles.
“The suspect vehicle turned into the side of the first patrol vehicle, causing him to lose control and strike a telephone pole,” Boren said. “The suspect vehicle then came a very short distance pass that. He lost control and hit a wired fence.”
Police said Giles exited the vehicle and pointed a weapon at the officer in the second marked car. The second suspect, who was also armed, then exited the vehicle, Boren said.
“A second blue and white who was responding saw that individual with that gun and ran over the individual that had the weapon to eliminate the threat,” Boren said. “We have an individual on the scene who is deceased as a result of that incident, being struck with a patrol car.”
The other suspect, whose name has yet to be released, was arrested after a foot chase. Officials seized weapons on the scene.
The names of the officers involved have yet to be released. The officer who was injured in the wreck has been treated and released.
Police said the vehicle Giles was driving struck a pedestrian in another area before the chase. That individual was treated at the hospital and released.
Superior Court records show Columbus police last year charged Giles with aggravated assault, reckless conduct and simple battery for punching a former girlfriend in the face and striking her on the back with a 2-by-4 board, causing her to drop a child she was holding.
A warrant described the victim as “a former roommate and mother of Mr. Giles’ unborn child.”
That incident happened June 13, 2016, police reported. He pleaded guilty Sept. 23 to misdemeanor simple assault instead of felony aggravated assault, and was sentenced to serve nine months, with two years on probation.
Court records also show a Deonte M. Giles was charged with simple battery involving family violence for stabbing his mother in the arm with a screwdriver on Jan. 23, the same day the Deonte Giles police killed Thursday was last booked into the Muscogee County Jail. Records in that case had no suspect’s date of birth to confirm it’s the same person.
‘I don’t know how to stop it’
The Rev. Willie Phillips has been working to clean up the Winterfield neighborhood. He was saddened Thursday to learn of another untimely death.
“It’s sad, especially in this area with the problems we’ve been having,” said Phillips, founder of Winterfield on the Move Against Drugs. “The crime comes from the outside and I don’t know how to stop it unless we get rid of all the prostitution and shut all the drug houses down.”
Staff writer Alva James-Johnson contributed to this report.