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Report of armed man at school event prompts lockdown; search escalates to deadly gunfire at nearby home

The GBI and a family friend identified the man who died as 29-year-old Steven Blunt.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A series of events that started off at a Douglas County high school stadium ended with a man shot and killed by deputies in a nearby neighborhood Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.  

The GBI and a family friend identified the man who died as 29-year-old Steven Blunt.

It all started earlier this morning when students at New Manchester High School were placed under a lockdown. There were reports that a man had a gun during the school's Special Olympics event in the stadium.

While the lockdown was ongoing, deputies with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office overheard radio chatter about the lockdown and responded around 11:20 a.m.

While working with school resources officers to sweep the school, deputies were able to spot the man and chase him outside. Authorities said they established a perimeter and used K-9 officers to continue their search. 

During the search, authorities found a phone that officials said led deputies to an address along Ferncrest Place -- roughly 2 miles away -- where they said a man, who was later identified as Blunt, came outside and spoke with them. 

The GBI said as deputies were beginning to talk with Blunt, he pulled out a handgun and shot at the deputies. One of the deputies returned fire and shot Blunt. Blunt was taken to the hospital and later died. No deputies were harmed during the shooting, according to the GBI.

Credit: Courtesy of family friend
Steven Blunt

At this time, the sheriff's office said it is unsure if Blunt, who shot at them at the home, is the same as the armed man reported at the school. However, they did say Blunt matched the description of the man at the school.

School officials lifted the lockdown at the school around 12:45 p.m., but Interim Executive Director of Communications for the Douglas County School System Portia Lake stressed that "nobody was ever in danger." 

"All students are safe, remain safe," she said in a statement from the district.

The GBI Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy on Blunt. The GBI said once it completes its investigation, it will turn its findings over to the Douglas Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.


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