An armed robbery suspect was shot dead late Saturday by Bibb County deputies after he pulled a gun, according to the sheriff's office.
The robbery happened at about 11 p.m. at the Circle K at 2580 Riverside Drive, according to a release. A man entered the store, pointed a gun at an employee, and fired a shot when he became frustrated with the employee. The suspect took an undisclosed amount of cash from the register and fled toward Applebee's.
A deputy was driving through the Applebee's parking lot at that moment and was alerted to the robbery by a passerby. The deputy approached the suspect and a struggle ensued, the release stated. The struggle continued toward the intersection of Pierce Avenue and Sheffield Road, where another deputy arrived.
During the struggle a Taser was deployed but it was apparently not effective. The suspect, Shamir Deangelo Terry, 39, of Macon, pulled a handgun and was shot by the deputies, the release stated. Terry was taken to the Medical Center, Navicent Health, where he was pronounced dead.
Coroner Leon Jones said he died on the operating table and was pronounced at 12:41 a.m. Jones said he died of multiple gun shot wounds.
The sheriff's office is investigating the armed robbery while the GBI is investigating the shooting of the suspect.
J.T. Ricketson, special agent in charge of the GBI's Perry office, said Terry fired a shot at the deputy who approached him. Terry then began walking away toward Pierce Avenue and the deputy tried the Taser, but it did not stop him. When the second deputy approached, Ricketson said, Terry pulled out a semi-automatic handgun and both deputies shot him.
Ricketson said Terry was not wearing a mask when he robbed the store, and there were multiple customers both inside the store and outside pumping gas. One of the customers alerted the deputy who first approached Terry.
"That’s very unusual in my experience for someone to commit an armed robbery with that many people around," Ricketson said.
Authorities said Terry had been wanted in connection with other alleged crimes locally and in south Georgia that include forgery, driving with a suspended license, family violence and obstruction of a peace officer.
At a news conference on Monday, Sheriff David Davis said the deputies who shot at Terry, Christopher R. Scuderi and Christopher C. Williams, have been placed on paid administrative leave as is routine in police shootings.
"From what we've seen of the evidence so far ... the deputies had to do what they had to do," Davis said. "It's bravery and commitment for a deputy to walk behind somebody that he knows is armed and is trying to get this person to give up. ... Nobody wants to take a life."
He said the deputies were coping "as well as to be expected" after Saturday night's episode.
Williams has been a Macon cop for about a decade, and Scuderi has been a Bibb deputy for about two years and was a Centerville police officer about three years before that.
"They're asked to come up and make these split-second decisions, and we can be proud that there are people out on the front lines doing that," Davis said.
Anyone with information can call the sheriff's office at 478-751-7500 or Macon Regional Crimestoppers at 1-877-68CRIME.
Telegraph staff writer Joe Kovac Jr. contributed to this report.