A man who barricaded himself inside a Lizella house Tuesday afternoon after a fatal attack on an elderly couple was fatally shot as Bibb County sheriff’s deputies closed in on him, ending a two-hour standoff, authorities said.
The suspect, later identified as Gavin Williams, 27, who was shot multiple times, was taken to a Macon hospital. He died at 5:47 p.m. Bibb Coroner Leon Jones said. Williams lived at 2794 Moncrief Road.
The victims, later identified as Vivian and Sanders Hughes of 2768 Moncrief Road, were severely wounded, authorities said. Vivian Hughes, 70, died at 7:01 p.m. in the operating room of multiple stab wounds, Jones said. At about 8:30 p.m., her husband, 72, was being treated in the emergency room for “multiple hematomas on the face and head and chest,” he said. “It’s serious.”
Earlier, about 2:30 p.m., a neighbor on Moncrief Road just south of Lake Tobesofkee dialed 911 after seeing what sheriff’s officials described as two elderly people lying in the front yard of a house on Moncrief.
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Moments after the 911 call, a half-dozen patrol cars, a fire truck and two ambulances rushed to the scene at the Hughes’ one-story, brick-veneer home, where the pair was found bleeding.
The husband was by then sitting on a porch and his wife was inside the house, which lies roughly midway between Columbus Road and U.S. 80, about three miles west of Middle Georgia State University and Interstate 475.
The first sheriff’s deputy on the scene confronted Williams about 2:30 p.m. after the man who was bleeding on the front porch pointed the suspect out, authorities said.
Williams, who had a liquor bottle in his hand and tried to hit the deputy with it, got away after the sheriff’s deputy tased him to try to stop him, Bibb sheriff’s Col. Aubrey Evins said.
The suspect pulled the tazer prongs off, the deputy grabbed him by the arm, but Williams slipped away.
The deputy hit him with pepper spray and he bolted from the couple’s house to his house.
At that point, the standoff began and didn’t end until sometime after 5 p.m. when Williams was shot.
“We tried to negotiate ... which we were unable to. (Williams) did make one attempt to call us and hung up,” Evins said. “The suspect was heard hollering and screaming. At one time he threw something out a window. Gas was deployed by SWAT.”
Williams then tried to go out a back door holding a barbecue fork and was shot again with non-lethal bean bags, Evins said. “He continued to come and was shot by SWAT.”
It was unclear what may have set Williams off, Evins added, noting that at one point he grabbed a robot deputies had sent into the house during the standoff.
By 4:30 p.m., the sheriff’s SWAT team had converged on the house and surrounded it. Sheriff’s deputies could be heard talking to him on a megaphone, but what they said wasn’t clear enough to be heard by reporters who were several hundred yards away.
The GBI was called in as they routinely are in police shootings.
Deputy Rozier, who shot Williams, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation into the use of lethal force, according to a news release.