Crime

GBI investigating after Bibb deputy shoots gunman at Macon apartments

GBI investigating Bibb deputy-involved shooting

GBI investigators responded to 140 Prentice Place in Macon after a Bibb deputy shot a gunman at Sunset Apartments off Vineville Avenue, just north of Payne City.
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GBI investigators responded to 140 Prentice Place in Macon after a Bibb deputy shot a gunman at Sunset Apartments off Vineville Avenue, just north of Payne City.

GBI crime scene specialists are creating a digital mock-up of the scene where a Bibb County deputy shot and wounded a 24-year-old gunman late Thursday.

The deputy fired a single shot after DeMichael Wilmore raised his gun, according to a release from the Bibb County Sheriff's Office.

Just after 10 p.m., Deputy George Witherspoon was investigating a report of shots fired at Sunset Apartments at 140 Prentice Place, about a block off Vineville Avenue.

Witherspoon found Wilmore holding a gun near a 1994 Mazda pickup truck in the back of the parking lot.

According to jail records, Wilmore lives at the apartments that back up to railroad tracks a couple of blocks north of Brookdale Avenue and the Payne City neighborhood.

Wilmore reportedly refused Witherspoon's command to drop the gun and raised it toward the deputy, according to a GBI statement.

Witherspoon fired, hitting Wilmore in the upper right arm.

Wilmore was taken by ambulance to the Medical Center, Navicent Health, with what turned out to be a non-life-threatening injury.

He was later released from the hospital and booked into the Bibb jail on a charge of aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer while on official duty.

A sheriff's report of the incident released Friday afternoon noted that when backup officers arrived at the shooting scene, Witherspoon had Wilmore on the ground in handcuffs.

"Investigator Witherspoon was checking the suspect and trying to assist him with his wound," the report said, adding that Witherspoon was heard by another deputy asking Wilmore why he had "raised the gun towards him."

The write-up doesn't say whether Wilmore replied.

Wilmore's girlfriend, said to have been "crying and screaming after the shooting," told another deputy that a pistol Wilmore had was hers.

The girlfriend also mentioned that Wilmore has been shot before.

In May 2010, Wilmore was shot in the leg outside a north Macon Waffle House. After a 3 a.m. fight broke out at the Arkwright Road eatery, Wilmore stepped outside to check on a female friend.

Police at the time said a man there with a handgun opened fire on Wilmore, wounding him just below the knee. Wilmore was treated at a hospital and released after that episode as well.

On Friday, J.T. Ricketson, special agent in charge of the GBI Region 13 office in Perry, said multiple shell casings were recovered at the scene on Prentice Place.

"That would be consistent with the original complaint of shots fired at that location," Ricketson said.

The GBI also seized two handguns and secured a search warrant for the pickup.

Wilmore pleaded not guilty in February 2015 after he was charged with two counts of theft by receiving stolen property in August 2014.

According to court records in that case, Wilmore allegedly had in his possession a Glock G19 semiautomatic 9mm pistol and a Smith & Wesson 40-caliber handgun.

The GBI was called in to investigate the shooting, which is standard procedure when the Bibb County Sheriff's Office has an officer-involved shooting.

GBI crime scene specialists worked through the night gathering evidence at the scene, said Bill Bodrey, assistant special agent in charge of the Region 13 field office.

The agency will do a comprehensive review to determine exactly what happened Thursday night.

"We're investigating the entire crime scene," Bodrey said. "We're determining everything that happened that led up to Bibb County being dispatched to this area."

Ricketson said a GBI crime scene investigator from Milledgeville did a scan of the scene using Leica camera technology to pinpoint the distance between those involved and the position of other evidence.

"It recreates the crime scene much better than regular methods," he said.

The information collected will be analyzed on the computer during the probe.

While no time frame was given for the completion of the investigation, similar cases have taken several weeks to complete.

Telegraph writer Joe Kovac Jr. contributed to this report. To contact writer Liz Fabian, call 744-4303 and follow her on Twitter@liz_lines.

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