UPDATE:

Haralson County, GA (May 20, 2022) - Willie Lee Austin died on May 18, 2022 as a result of the officer involved shooting on December 18, 2021.

ORIGINAL RELEASE:

Haralson County, GA (December 20, 2021) – The GBI is investigating an officer-involved shooting in Haralson County, GA.  The Georgia State Patrol (GSP) and the Haralson County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on Saturday, December 18, 2021.  One man, identified as Willie Lee Austin, age 30, of Olive Branch, Mississippi is in critical condition. 

Preliminary information indicates that Polk County Police Department officers observed a truck speeding in Polk County, Georgia. A Polk County P.D. officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on Austin who was driving the truck. Austin failed to stop, and there was a pursuit through Polk County into Haralson County on GA HWY 27. During the pursuit, multiple agencies assisted, including GSP and HCSO. A Georgia State Patrol trooper performed a PIT maneuver on the truck. While GSP troopers and HCSO deputies approached the truck, the investigation shows that the truck accelerated towards a GSP trooper and HCSO deputy. A GSP trooper and HCSO deputy fired into the truck, shooting Austin. 

Austin was taken to a local hospital for treatment and is currently recovering. No officers were injured in this incident. A female passenger was also inside the truck. She was not injured during the incident.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, the case file will be provided to the Haralson County District Attorney’s Office for review.

Contact Public & Governmental Affairs Director

Nelly Miles