Updated: Feb 28, 2021
By Joe Johnson
A week later, the fatal shooting of a man by police in Athens continues to be investigated.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting an independent investigation of the Feb. 18 shooting death of Jackson County resident Timothy Statham.
The shooting occurred after Statham fled from a truck that officers had pursued because the vehicle been reported stolen by his girlfriend in Nicholson. Athens-Clarke County police said that Statham had his hands in his pockets and made mention of having a gun as he approached officers in a “threatening” manner.
After one office fired a 40mm sponge round that had no effect on Statham, police said that three other officers opened fire on the man with their service pistols, killing him.
When asked about the status of the investigation, GBI Public Affairs Director Nellie Miles said, “Officer involved shooting investigations typically take 60-90 days to complete.”
She also sent a copy of the GBI’s Law Enforcement Use of Force Investigations manual.
The 20-page manual maps out 24 areas that such investigations must cover, from witness and officer interviews, to autopsy and crime lab test results.
The manual states that the involved department’s internal affairs investigation must also be taken into account.
On Friday, ACCPD Lt, Shaun Barnett. Said that the internal investigation being conducted by the department’s Office of Professional Standards was ongoing.
The three officers who shot Statham are on paid administrative leave while conclusion of the parallel investigations was pending.
Statham’s death marked the ninth officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate in 2021.
It was the first such shooting by Athens-Clarke County police since 2019, when there were six officer-involved shootings, all but one of which were fatal.