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Suspect killed near county line identified

POSTED: January 26, 2017 10:04 a.m.

The man who was fatally shot Monday night during a standoff with deputies has been identified as Gary M. Wigley of Highway 119 North, according to a Bulloch County sheriff's incident report.

Bill Bodrey, special agent-in-charge of the Region 5 Georgia Bureau of Investigation office in Statesboro, said Tuesday that he would not release the suspect's identity, nor the names of the one Bulloch County and two Effingham County sheriff's deputies who were at the scene when the shooting occurred, until 48 hours after the incident. However, a report released Wednesday included the information, listing Wigley, 52, as the suspect in the incident.

Bodrey would not confirm the suspect's identity Wednesday and said again that he would not release any further information until Thursday out of courtesy to the families involved, he said.

Wigley was shot during an incident Monday night after he fled from deputies who were trying to serve him with a bench warrant, Bodrey said in a statement released Tuesday.

Wigley, armed with a long gun, fled into a deserted mobile home behind his house and refused orders to drop the gun and surrender. When he raised the gun and pointed it at deputies, they fired back, Bodrey said.

Calls to the Effingham County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday and Wednesday seeking information about why the bench warrant had been issued were not returned.

The incident took place around 10:45 p.m. at a home off Highway 80 and Highway 119, near Olney Station Road in the Ellabell community in southern Bulloch County. According to the sheriff's incident report, "A request was made to GBI Region 5 to help investigate an officer-involved shooting."

Bodrey said Tuesday that the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office requested assistance from the GBI around 11:15 p.m., half an hour after the shooting Monday.

After the incident, Bulloch County EMS responded to provide medical treatment, but Wigley was pronounced dead at the scene. None of the three deputies involved were injured.

The Statesboro Herald first reported the shooting after learning of the incident around 11 p.m. Monday. According to sources, shots were exchanged, with a suspect "down," and a deputy called for assistance "10-18," a code meaning "quickly."

The Bulloch County Sheriff's Office then called for public radio traffic to be withheld for a short time while other deputies and officers responded to assist, the source said.

Wigley's body was sent Wednesday morning for an autopsy at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah, Bodrey said.

"When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Ogeechee District Attorney's Office for any action they deem appropriate," he said.

Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

 

 

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