POLK COUNTY, Ga. -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate an officer-involved shooting in northwest Georgia after a chase in Polk County.
Authorities said Georgia State Patrol troopers were conducting a DUI patrol in the area of Fish Creek Road at around 12:15 a.m. when he attempted to stop a vehicle. But when the driver refused to do so, Troopers continued in pursuit. Eventually, the vehicle pulled over near the intersection of Collard Valley Road and Old Collard Valley Road.
A preliminary GBI investigation suggests that one passenger left the vehicle when the chase ended. As Trooper Johnathan Mason made contact with the driver, identified as 36-year-old Jason Dennis Watkins, Watkins allegedly accelerated. Trooper Mason responded by opening fire.
Watkins was taken to the Polk County Hospital where he died. He will soon be taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur, Ga. for an autopsy. The GBI is now in charge of the investigation and will turn findings over to the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit District Attorney's Office for review.
It's one of two officer-involved shootings reported in the early morning hours that the GBI is investigating. Further south, in College Park, police are also investigating an officer-involved shooting and accident that was ultimately fatal.