Crime

Putnam deputy shoots and kills man with knife

A knife-wielding Rockville man, who reportedly charged a Putnam County sheriff’s deputy, was shot and killed Wednesday night.

Harry Davis, 57, of Rockville Springs Drive, was verbally and physically fighting with his son in the middle of Oconee Springs Road when deputies arrived shortly before 11:30 p.m., Sheriff Howard Sills said.

“He threw a knife at one deputy and got another knife out of his car and charged the deputy, and he shot and killed him,” Sills said early Thursday. “Obviously there was a lot of alcohol involved here and maybe something else.”

Three deputies were on the scene when Deputy Justin Brock fired at Davis, hitting him twice in the chest.

“It has all the earmarks of a suicide by cop,” Sills said.

Davis’ body has been sent to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy.

Putnam County 911 received a call shortly after 11 p.m. from a man traveling with Davis and his son, Lonnie Davis.

The caller said the Davises were “tripping and acting crazy” and the man wanted to get away from them, Sills said.

When deputies arrived near the Hancock County line, the car was parked in the middle of the road with no lights on, and the Davises were scuffling, deputies said.

Deputies had trouble breaking them up before the elder Davis, a disabled veteran, turned on the deputies.

Considering the initial evidence, Sills has no doubt the shooting was justified.

“There was no question from anybody I talked to... that he had more than one knife,” he said.

Brock, who has been on the force a dozen years, will be off patrol pending the outcome of a GBI investigation into the shooting.

“We’ll let the GBI finish their investigation, but it appears this is going to be suicide by cop type thing,” Sills said.

The sheriff’s office was called to the Davis home in February due to a domestic dispute between the father and son, Sills said.

To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303.

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