NEWNAN — A 25-year-old man was taken to the hospital after being shot by a Newnan police officer Monday night.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation preliminary information indicates that at approximately 8:57 p.m., a Georgia State Patrol Trooper radioed dispatch about being involved in a high-speed pursuit exceeding 100 miles per hour. The officer was pursuing a motorcycle driven by 25-year-old Azavious Lavonta Echols of Woodbury on Highway 34 in Newnan. The driver of the motorcycle was identified as a black man, wearing a t-shirt with blonde dreadlocks.
At about 9:02 p.m., a motorist called 911 and said that a driver in a motorcycle had turned into the Greison Trail area. A short time later, officers with Newnan Police Department and the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office located a black motorcycle abandoned behind a restaurant at 67 Bullsboro Drive in Newnan. Officers then began searching the area for the driver.
At about 9:05 p.m., while searching the area, officers observed Echols who matched the reported description inside of Bail Bonds 24-7 located at 629 Greison Trail.
According to the GBI, it appeared that Echols had forcibly entered the location. Upon making contact with Echols, officers began giving him verbal commands. A Newnan Police officer alerted other officers that Echols had a gun. The Newnan Police Officer fired his duty issued handgun at Echols, striking him once in the leg.
Police say at the time of the incident, Echols was in possession of a handgun and was reportedly reaching for it when he was shot.
Echols was transported by EMS to Atlanta Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
There were no officers injured during this shooting incident.
The GBI will continue its independent investigation of the officer involved shooting. Upon completion of the investigation, it will be turned over the Coweta County District Attorney’s Office for review.