Man dies following officer involved shooting - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Man dies following officer-involved shooting

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ROCKY FACE, GA (WRCB) -- A Whitfield County deputy responded to a suicide attempt, when authorities say the man making the threats turned on police.

That's when an officer opened fire.

Neighbors on Old Chattanooga Road describe hearing a single gunshot, shortly after 8:30 Monday night.

"We just heard a shot and within seconds of coming outside there were police officers everywhere," says Sherry Shepard.

Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood says it was a Whitfield County deputy who pulled the trigger.

"The call came in as an individual attempting suicide," says Sheriff Chitwood.

Deputies arrived to find a 25-year-old man with self-inflicted wounds.

He had a knife.

Chitwood says he turned on police.

"They did deploy the taser gun," Sheriff Chitwood. "It had absolutely no affect on him."

"One of our officers did in fact discharge his duty weapon," adds Chitwood.

The man was taken to Hamilton Medical Center, where he later died.

Chitwood wasn't able to tell us how many suicide calls his deputies respond to each year, but he says they train for this scenario.

"We do training constantly," the sheriff says.

"We do the best we can but until you are actually put in the predicament you don't know how you are going to react. We just hope that our officers have been trained well enough that they do make the best decision."

While the GBI investigates to determine if the officer's actions were warranted, neighbors are puzzled.

"He's always been a real good neighbor," Blake Ellison says. "As far as anything of knowing why it happened or anything of that nature, I really don't have a clue."

Ellison lives down the street.

He can't help but worry about the man's children, who are now left without a father.

"They play ball on weekends outside," Ellison says. They're smiling, laughing, always having a good time. You would have never thought."

The sheriff has not released the name of the deputy involved. He is on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

That's standard department policy.

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