WALTON COUNTY, Ga. — State agents say they believe a man who was shot in Walton County initially caught the attention of a deputy because he was dancing in a highway.
Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman said the shooting happened on Tara Commons Drive off of Highway 81 near Loganville. Authorities said the responding deputy is fine but a suspect has been sent to the hospital after at some point during a chase pointing a gun at law enforcement.
According to Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent-in-Charge Mike Ayers, the deputy said he was driving when he saw something that caught his attention.
"At about 3:29 p.m. today, a Walton County deputy on routine patrol on Highway 81 in Loganville observed a black male standing in the middle of Highway 81, ah, apparently dancing," Agent Ayers said. "The officer turned around because the behavior appeared to be odd to him."
As the officer turned around, Ayers said the suspect began running the other way. The officer then followed on foot.
"During the foot chase, the individual turned around brandishing a firearm pointed in the direction of the officer," he said. "
He said the officer holstered a Tazer and pulled out his gun continuing to chase the man into a nearby woodline.
"As they passed through the woodline area, the individual turned again, faced the officer and the officer fired one to two rounds," Ayers said.
He added that the suspect was taken to the hospital and appeared to be stable at the time and is undergoing surgery. The deputy was uninjured in the confrontation.
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"He's doing fine other than dealing with the emotional stress of having to discharge a weapon on another human being," Sheriff Chapman said.
The GBI has also been called in to investigate two other officer-shootings - one on the northern edge of East Point and another in McIntosh County in southeast Georgia.
"So it has been a busy day for GBI and of course any time, as the sheriff said, an officer is forced to discharge their firearm in their official capacity, it's a stressful day for everybody," Ayers said.