Bank robbery-carjack suspect killed by officers after standoff

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

LITHONIA, Ga. -- A man robbed a bank Monday, carjacked a vehicle, then ran to an empty house where he was shot to death after an hourlong standoff with police, authorities said.

James T. Williams, 29, taunted police by patting his chest and saying "shoot me" as he waved a handgun toward them from the steps to the house, said Sgt. Pat White of DeKalb County Police. SWAT team officers hit Williams with as many as 20 rounds after he fired several times at them.

"We were prepared to use less than lethal means to end this situation in a peaceful way," White said. "But once he started using live rounds on us, we had no choice.

Earlier Monday, the suspect robbed a Wachovia bank in Conyers, east of Atlanta, and carjacked a vehicle, authorities said.

Carjacking victim unhurt

Rockdale County Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jodi Shupe said the robber fired one shot inside the bank, but no one was injured. The carjacking victim was also uninjured.

Shupe said a bulletin was issued on the carjacked vehicle, and a Rockdale deputy spotted the car and chased it into DeKalb County, where the suspect got out of the car at a strip mall and ran.

Williams fired three shots at deputies, who returned fire, grazing him in the arm, Shupe said.

Williams then ran onto the porch of the house, where Rockdale sheriff's hostage negotiators were able to engage him in conversation.

"He kept patting his chest and saying, 'Shoot me,' and he did put his gun to his own head a couple of times," Shupe said.

The SWAT team arrived after about 30 minutes.

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