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Police: Man killed by Athens officers ran from traffic stop, came toward them in 'threatening manner'

Authorities said several of the officers fired their weapons, hitting the man an unknown number of times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Credit: WXIA

ATHENS, Ga. — What began as a traffic stop in the Athens area turned deadly, after officers said they shot a man who they believed to be armed and a threat.

According to the Athens-Clarke County Police Department, around 9:15 Thursday morning, officers tried to pull over a car that they said had been stolen out of Jackson County. But, as they followed it, police said it "left the roadway" near Newton Bridge Road and Fritz Mar Lane. 

While it's unclear what caused the car to drive off the road, police said the driver, Timothy Daniel Statham, 37, ran off into the woods. Police said they established a perimeter around the man and tried to negotiate with him to surrender "for an extended period of time."

According to the department, the man at one point "advanced toward officers in a threatening manner, with his hand concealed under his shirt and made references to having a gun."

Officers said they tried to use "less lethal munitions" to try to stop the man, but it did not have the "desired effect and the individual continued advancing toward officers in a threatening manner, indicating that he had a firearm."

As a result, thee of the officers fired their weapons, hitting the man an unknown number of times. He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

No officers were hurt in the shooting. No weapon was recovered, officials said.

Athens-Clarke County Police requested the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to handle the case, according to the department's policy. The officers have been placed on administrative assignment, pending the review of the case.

Meanwhile, police are asking anyone who may have witnessed this shooting, or who may have information,  to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation at 706-552-2309.