By Joe Johnson
Athens-Clarke County police officers were involved in a shooting Thursday morning with an auto theft suspect.
According to police, at about 9:17 a.m. officers attempted to stop a vehicle that had been confirmed stolen out of Jackson County, and as officers followed the vehicle, it left the roadway in the area of Newton Bridge Road and Fritz Mar Lane where the male driver fled into the woods.
Officers established a perimeter around the man and attempted negotiating with him to surrender for an extended period of time, according to police.
"At one point the man advanced toward officers in a threatening manner, with his hand concealed under his shirt and made references to having a gun," police said in a media release. "Officers used less lethal munitions in an attempt to stop the advancing threat."
Lt. Shaun Barnett said the less-lethal munitions were 40mm sponge rounds fired from a launcher.
However, "The less lethal munitions did not have the desired effect and the individual continued advancing toward officers in a threatening manner, indicating that he had a firearm, the release stated. "In response, several ACCPD officers discharged firearms, striking the man. The individual was pronounced deceased at the scene."
The man's identity was known by police, but they were withholding his name until his next of kin have ben notified.