Police chase with stolen vehicle turns deadly in Athens

ATHENS — A 37-year-old man is dead after a police chase Thursday morning ended in gunshots.

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, preliminary information indicates that at about 9:17 a.m., Athens-Clarke County Police officers attempted to stop a vehicle believed to be stolen out of Jackson County.

Officers followed the vehicle until the driver, identified as Timothy Daniel Statham drove into a ditch in the area of Newton Bridge Road and Fritz Mar Lane in Athens. Police say Statham exited the vehicle and fled on foot into the nearby wooded area. There were no other occupants in the vehicle.

Several officers responded to the area. Officers spent several moments attempting to get Statham to surrender.

According to the GBI, Statham refused to surrender and maintained a threatening position to the officers. Statham kept his hands in his pockets and told officers he had more ammunition than they did. Officers attempted to use a less than lethal weapon on Statham, but it was ineffective.

Police say at one point, Statham advanced toward some of the officers. During that moment, three officers fired their handguns at Statham, shooting him. Statham died at the scene.

No firearm was recovered from the scene. It was later verified that Statham had felony warrants out of Jackson and Barrow Counties.

No officers were injured during this incident. Statham will be transported to the GBI Crime Lab for autopsy.

The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once the investigation is completed, it will be turned over to the Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review.

According to GBI spokesperson Natalie Ammons, this is the 9th officer involved shooting in Georgia this year.

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