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Athens Police Shoot Man Who Claimed to Have a Gun

Athens-Clarke County police shot and killed a man Thursday morning after he advanced toward them while claiming to have a gun.

Friday, police identified him as Timothy Statham, 37, of Winterville.

Police were attempting to pull over Statham because he was driving a car that had been reported stolen in Jackson County. He also had warrants in Jackson and Barrow counties, according to police.

Statham stopped the car and ran into the woods near Fritz Mar Lane, according to a news release. Police said they formed a perimeter and negotiated with him to surrender. At one point, he advanced toward the officers with a hand under his shirt while making references to a gun. The news release did not say whether he actually had a gun or not.

Police said officers used “less lethal munitions,” but “they did not have the desired effect, and the man continued advancing toward officers in a threatening manner.” Several officers then fired their guns Statham. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate, as it does with all officer-involved shootings. Pending a preliminary review, the officers have been placed on administrative assignment per ACCPD policy.

The officers were identified as Senior Police Officer Jamie Jones, who fired sponge rounds; and Sgt. Tim Johnson, Officer First Class Dustin Tilley and Officer Jerold Rogers, who discharged their firearms.

Coincidentally, the ACC Commission heard a presentation on use of force at a work session Thursday evening.

The shooting is the first by ACCPD officers in 2021 and the seventh in the past two years.

This post has been updated with additional details throughout.