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New details on shooting that left deputies wounded, man dead


GBI agents processing the crime scene at Carver Mill Road Sunday. The GBI is automatically called any time a Pickens County officer uses lethal force.


Updated from Press Conference on Sunday

New details released –

 Several more details have been released on the Saturday night incident on Carver Mill Road where two deputies were wounded and a resident of that area killed after shots were exchanged.

  Among the new details, there was a large contingent of officers from the Pickens Sheriff’s office and Ga. State Patrol on the scene as backup when the shots were fired.

  While the GBI was still sorting out the chaotic scene, it appeared that two Pickens deputies and two state troopers all fired at John Harley Turner, 36, of Carver Mill Road.

  The sequence of events appears to be Turner got into a verbal altercation with some hunters and threatened them with a gun, even though they were on neighboring property, not his, and had permission to be there. At some point the hunters had moved away from the scene of the later gunfight.

   Deputies responded first and called for backup as they couldn’t get Turner to put his gun away despite repeated commands. At some point a Pickens deputy fired non-lethal bean bag shots at him and he returned fire with his weapon. The officers returned fire, killing him. The type of firearm Turner used was not released at the press conference. Turner had made several threats to shoot and kill the officers during the tense standoff, according to the press conference statements.

The confrontation between Turner and the officers lasted more than 45 minutes before the shots were fired, according to information released today.

   Sheriff Donnie Craig said this is the worst call a sheriff in a small town can get to hear that two of his officers were injured and someone killed. Craig asked for prayers for his officers and the family of the deceased. He said officers never go out wanting it to end with shots fired. In this case, Craig said, "It's important to remember that he was someone's son."

   He noted this is a small community and he personally knows the family of the deceased.

   Craig said the officers had done everything they could to end the standoff without using force.


 Original story below


 Two Pickens deputies were wounded and a man killed in an exchange of gunfire on Carver Mill Road Saturday night.

Both deputies were wounded with non life threatening shots. One was hit in the bullet proof vest all patrol officers for the county are required to wear; one in the arm.

The suspect who they exchanged fire with is deceased.

Sheriff spokesman Kris Stancil said last night they were only now arriving at scene and stressed these were preliminary details which could change.

A later report indicated that it began as a domestic dispute between two people who were not a husband and wife and the deceased was a local resident.

The GBI is investigating as standard Pickens Sheriff procedure involving an officer-involved shooting.

The last time Pickens officers used deadly force was Christmas eve of 2014 when a Bethany Road man was killed after he shot at two deputies. Prior to that, no officer involved shootings had occurred in recent years.