Athens, GA (March 9, 2019) – On Friday, March 8, 2019, the GBI was requested by the Athens-Clarke County Police Department (ACCPD) to conduct an officer involved shooting investigation. Preliminary information indicates that shortly before 6:30 p.m., officers were involved in an incident on West Lake Drive involving an individual who was believed to be armed with a weapon. ACCPD officers encountered a male subject, identified as Thomas Wayne Swinford, 34, of Grovetown, GA, who brandished what appeared to be a firearm in a threatening manner. Officers issued verbal commands for Swinford to drop the firearm. Swinford disregarded the officers’ commands and charged the officers with the firearm in his hand pointed in the officers’ direction. Multiple officers discharged their firearms, striking Swinford. After the shooting, officers immediately rendered first aid and Swinford was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. The investigation revealed that Swinford was in possession of and brandished an airsoft replica style handgun.
No officers were injured in this incident.
The GBI will continue its independent investigation. Once complete, it will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review.