The man who was shot and killed by a Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Friday has been identified as Matthew James Fleming from the Atlanta area but investigators are still trying to learn why he was in Dalton.
“We know he is from the Atlanta area — maybe the Douglasville area — and that is all we know,” said Special Agent in Charge Joe Montgomery of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Calhoun office. “He was possibly up here doing some kind of work.”
The sheriff's office requested that the GBI investigate the incident.
In a press release on Friday, the GBI said the deputy, whose name has not been released, shot the man after the man "attempted to draw a weapon" and refused to obey "verbal commands." Officials were unable to immediately identify him because he wasn’t carrying identification and was not known to local law enforcement officers.
According to the GBI press release, several deputies responded to 911 calls of a man in the middle of Abutment Road "yelling at cars and people at businesses" around 4:30 p.m.
At approximately 4:40 p.m., the first arriving deputy encountered the man.
“The subject would not comply to ... verbal commands to stop or show his hands,” the GBI press release said. “The subject then turned and attempted to draw a weapon from his waist. The deputy continued to give verbal commands, but the subject refused to comply and again attempted to draw his weapon. The deputy fired several times. The subject was struck by the deputy’s gunfire and died at the scene.”
Sheriff Scott Chitwood has said he believes the deputy acted in a manner that “seems to be very justified.”
The deputy is on paid administrative leave. The GBI will turn the results of its investigation over to the District Attorney's Office when the investigation is completed.