An Illinois man was shot and killed by deputies after a Sunday night standoff on Interstate 20.
Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said is appears the man intended to have police kill him.
Columbia County Coroner Harriett Garrison identified the man as 58-year-old Joseph Crist of Sullivan, Ill.
According to the Moultrie County (Ill.) News Progress,Crist’s father had died in April. Neighbors said he didn’t attend his father’s funeral and often traveled doing odd jobs.
Police said Crist was talking to his brother, who lives in Arizona, and threatening to kill himself. His brother called the Georgia State Patrol and a state trooper alerted Columbia County authorities that the man was likely armed and threatening suicide, according to Morris.
Deputies located Crist at about 6:25 p.m. on the interstate under Chamblin Road overpass. The man’s van had a flat tire. Crist was holding a .45-caliber handgun, but didn’t threaten deputies. He just refused to give up the weapon and surrender, Morris said.
Authorities set up a perimeter and shut down the interstate between the Harlem and Grovetown exits and the Chamblin Road bridge for the safety of the public during the four hours sheriff’s office crisis negotiators tried to “de-escalate the situation,” Morris said.
At about 10:45 p.m., Morris said Crist raised his weapon at deputies.
“They fired several less- lethal rounds, and that was ineffective,” Morris said. “It did not stop the threat.”
Deputies fired several 40-mm sponge rounds and 12-gauge shotgun bean bag rounds at the man, but he didn’t lower his weapon, Morris said.
Crist was shot and killed at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for Monday at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Atlanta.
Sheriff’s Deputy Joseph Baker, 29, fired the fatal shot and was put on administrative leave, which is protocol while the sheriff’s office’s Force Investigation Team completes its inquiry into the shooting, Morris said.