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'He ran right by us' | Witness describes what prompted school lockdown ahead of nearby deadly shooting

“About five seconds after he ran by us the officer came right behind him," the witness said.

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. — A shootout lasting only a few seconds ended with a 29-year-old man being killed in the front yard of a Douglas County home, authorities said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the man who died as Steven Blunt.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said the chain of events that led to the deadly encounter started at the football stadium at New Manchester High School; no shots were fired at the school.

Students from across Douglas County were competing in Special Olympics when the sheriff’s office said someone notified them that a man at the event was armed with a weapon. The Douglas County School Police Department didn’t specify who told them the man was armed, only acknowledging it was an attendee at the event.

A school resource officer at the stadium approached the man and at some point, the man who was reported to be armed took off running. The sheriff’s office said deputies heard the call on the police radio and started to respond and help law enforcement officers on scene set up a perimeter. 

11Alive spoke to Jerome Orr, who said he along with his family were just leaving the event after watching his grandson compete at Special Olympics. Orr said as they were walking near the gate and he stopped to take a picture with his grandkids. 

“He ran right by us and you know it caught me off guard,” Orr explained. “About five seconds after he ran by us the officer came right behind him.” 

Orr said as the officer was running after the man, the officer said, “He has a gun." Orr said the man ran past his family and he bumped into a couple of people as he was running out of the stadium.

“He went through the gate and his phone fell out of his pocket,” Orr said. “So me, I just picked it up and waited until the officer was done chasing him and gave him the telephone.” 

Douglas County Schools put New Manchester High School on lockdown. While faculty and staff made sure everyone on campus was safe, the sheriff’s office continued its search.

During a news conference, the sheriff’s office said the phone that Orr found played a key part in leading them to Blunt. However, earlier in the day, deputies mentioned it was unclear if Blunt was the same person, who prompted the school lockdown. 

The investigation landed them about two miles from the high school at a home on Ferncrest Place. The homeowner told 11Alive’s Cody Alcorn on scene that Blunt was a family friend and staying with her at the home. She said Blunt was at the stadium watching her son, who was also competing in Special Olympics. 

Credit: Courtesy of family friend
Steven Blunt

WATCH: Doorbell video shows moments gunfire broke out between Douglas County deputies, man

The homeowner gave 11Alive doorbell camera video that showed the moments before the gunshots were fired outside her front door.  The shootout lasts four seconds and 11Alive counted 10 total gunshots. Once the shots stop, deputies also scream out "shots fired."

The sheriff said Blunt was taken to the hospital. While still on scene, 11Alive saw the Douglas County Coroner’s Office arrive to help in the investigation. The GBI later confirmed Blunt's death.

The investigation is still ongoing. 

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