Tue. May 28th, 2024

Authorities in Georgia has released the name of a 24-year-old deputy found fatally shot in his car on Thursday morning.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said Deputy James Thomas was killed while off duty sometime around 4:30 a.m. in Atlanta on Thursday morning. Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat called him “the life of the party” and a “good spirit,” who he personally hired from a law enforcement agency south of Atlanta.

Thomas was a former officer for the Jackson Police Department in Mississippi. Police Chief James E. Davis provided his condolences to family, friends and co-workers with the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in a statement:

“On behalf of the Jackson Police Department, I would like to extend my deepest sympathies and condolences to the family and friends of Deputy James Thomas and The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. During his tenure with the Jackson Police Department, Deputy Thomas was known as a vibrant and energetic officer beloved by his peers. I pray that you all find comfort in the lord during this difficult time.”

Police are still looking for the shooter. According to authorities, officers were called to the scene at around 4:30 a.m. after reports of a person shot. They found a car that had been in a crash with the victim still inside.

A call to 911 by a witness describes the incident as a drive-by shooting.

911 call released in deputy’s shooting death
Atlanta police have released the 911 call following the murder of a Fulton County deputy. A witness describes what he saw.

Atlanta police investigators spoke to the driver of a van who heard gunshots. They’re cooperating with investigators and police don’t believe that person is linked to the shooting.

“The van observed the victim’s vehicle kind of driving erratically in the middle of the road on Bolton Road,” Atlanta police investigator Peter Malecki said. “When they went to pass that vehicle is when they belie they heard gunfire.”

The hunt continues for the gunman who shot and killed an off-duty Fulton County Sheriff’s deputy. It happened on Bolton Road in northwest Atlanta around 4:30 Thursday morning. The deputy was on his way home from work.

It is unclear whether the deputy was shot before or after the crash.

“Right now, we do not know if the shooter was a pedestrian on foot or if he was perhaps in another vehicle,” Malecki said.

The reward in the case was increased to $30,000. If you have any information that could help the investigation, call the Atlanta Police Department or Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-TIPS(8477) or submit a tip online at crimestoppersatlanta.org.

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By Buffy Gunner

Independent Journalist + Business Owner | Lover of all things true crime. Mantra: Only YOU can be YOU. | Los Angeles Born | buffygunner@illicitdeeds.com