Update in Waycross OIS - August 10, 2020

Additional information obtained in this investigation indicates that the first officer followed the vehicle for several minutes in an attempt to obtain the license plate information following a traffic violation (failure to stop at a stop sign).  The officer did not activate his siren or blue emergency lights. 

As the vehicle approached the area of Walters and Greenwood Streets, three children (ages 9, 12, and 14) exited the vehicle and ran off while the vehicle stopped in the direction of their home.  Although the officer followed the three children, he did not make contact with the children because he returned to the scene of the traffic stop to assist the second officer.  

At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that the second officer that fired the shots at the vehicle driving towards him shot at or near the three children that ran home.

Juvenile criminal complaints were taken on the 15-year-old and 16-year-old driver. The 15-year-old was released to his parent. The 16-year-old was placed in the custody of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.  They were charged by the Waycross Police Department as follows:

16-Year Old Driver

  • Possession of a handgun by Person Under 18
  • Reckless Driving
  • Stop Sign Violation
  • Aggravated Assault on a Police Officer
  • Driving with No Driver’s License

15-Year Old Passenger

  • Possession of a handgun by Person Under 18
  • Obstruction of an officer
  • Removal or Attempt to Remove Firearm from an Officer

At this time, agents have only been allowed to interview one of the children that ran home.  We have made several attempts to interview the other two, but have not been granted an interview.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact the GBI at (912) 389-4103.  There is no video (bodycam or dashcam) capturing this incident.  If you have knowledge of video taken by witnesses, we encourage that information as well.  This investigation remains active and ongoing.

ORIGINAL PRESS RELEASE 

Waycross, GA (August 8, 2020) – On Saturday, August 8, 2020, the GBI was requested by the Waycross Police Department to investigate an officer involved shooting.

Preliminary information indicates that on Saturday, August 8, 2020, at approximately 8:00 a.m, an officer with the Waycross Police Department observed a traffic violation at the intersection of Howe and Brunell Street.  The officer attempted to obtain the license plate information.  As the vehicle approached the area of Walters and Greenwood Street, three minors (ages 9, 12, and 14) exited the vehicle and ran off while the vehicle stopped.  A second officer responded to assist while the first officer followed the three minors in his vehicle.  As the second officer began to approach the vehicle from the front, the vehicle drove towards him.  The officer fired multiple times at the vehicle.  Two male minors (ages 15 and 16) exited the vehicle while it was still in drive. The vehicle came to a stop further up the road.  There was an altercation between the second officer and the 15-year-old male that had exited the vehicle.  The minor was eventually secured in handcuffs.  He was treated by EMS for minor injuries from the altercation.

The first responding officer came back to the initial scene of the traffic stop after hearing gunshots.  The three minors went home.

No officers were injured during the incident.

The GBI will continue its independent investigation.  Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the GBI at (912) 389-4103 or the Waycross Police Department at (912) 287-2921.  Once the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Ware County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Contact ASAC Jason Seacrist