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GBI investigating inmate death in Rockdale County

Cause of death has not yet been determined.

CONYERS, Ga. -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has been called in to investigate after an inmate died suddenly in a metro Atlanta jail.

According to a media release from the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office, 22-year-old Shali Tilson of Conyers, Georgia was pronounced dead around 8:45 p.m. on Monday while in the county jail.

Tilson was arrested by Conyers police on March 3 on two misdemeanor charges - disorderly conduct and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

A police report stated that during that incident, the suspect was found trying to kick in a door and yelling profanities. Police eventually tried to take him into custody and said he was combative and resisted the entire time - so much so that jail staff had to place him in a transport chair upon arrival.

The report states he became aggressive yet again when authorities read warrants to Tilson who allegedly asked them why they didn't just shoot him.

The sheriff's office says they will conduct an investigation of the incident and turn any findings over to the GBI. Investigators will also turn over their findings to Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett.

"My greatest concern and priority is getting answers to what happened to Mr. Tilson," Levett said in a statement Wednesday. "I am deeply saddened by his death."

The sheriff's office reported that the cause of Tilson's death hasn't been determined and that the GBI was called in to investigate and perform an autopsy. A spokesperson for the GBI, Nelly Miles, confirmed that the agency was called in but had no further information.

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