GBI releases new details in Brooks County standoff

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
March 8, 2018

QUITMAN, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released new details in a standoff last week in Brooks County that ended with a death investigation.

The GBI says on Friday, Brooks County Sheriff’s deputies and officers with The Department of Community Supervision were attempting to serve a warrant on a suspect at a residence at 13144 Valdosta Highway in Quitman.

Officials say 31-year-old Timothy Smothers, Jr. was wanted on warrants for felony entering auto, violation of probation and a search warrant for items stolen in a burglary.

Officers learned Smothers was inside the home but refused to come out.

The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team was called in to assist in the arrest. SWAT Team members attempted to negotiate with Smothers who remained uncooperative and unresponsive to their negotiators.

The GBI says 'OC Chemicals', similar to pepper-spray, were then deployed inside the residence in an attempt to force Smothers out. During the deployment of the OC, a fire started inside the mobile home.

During an exterior search through the windows of the home, investigators saw Smothers lying on the floor in the rear bathroom/bedroom area.

While the structure was still burning in other areas, Lowndes SWAT members and Brooks County firefighters entered the residence and removed Smothers, who was discovered to have a gunshot wound in his chest area.

Brooks County firefighters were able to put out the blaze.

Smothers was taken to South Georgia Medical Center, where he later died.

The GBI says, during a search of the residence, agents found a pistol in the area of the home where Smothers was located. One spent shell casing and a fired projectile were also located in the bathroom area where it was determined Smothers was hiding.

The GBI says the gun had been reported stolen and was the same one that Brooks County investigators were looking for with the search warrant they had obtained.

An autopsy performed at the GBI Crime Lab located a "single press contact" gunshot wound to the chest on Smothers.

In a press release on Thursday, the GBI said, "Interviews and the investigation thus far has revealed that no law enforcement present discharged their firearms at Smothers, nor did he shoot at law enforcement."

Officials added that the case is active and ongoing, and that all evidence collected has been sent to the GBI Crime Lab for further analysis and testing. Once the investigation is complete, the findings will be forwarded to the District Attorney for review.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
Updated - March 5, 2018

QUITMAN, Ga. (WCTV) -- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation says a man has died after a standoff in Brooks County that ended with a house fire.

The scene unfolded around 1 p.m. Friday at a home at 13144 Valdosta Highway in Quitman, just behind Pauline Baptist Church.

According to the GBI, earlier in the day, deputies with the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office attempted to arrest a subject at the residence. During the attempted arrest, the subject barricaded himself inside the house.

The Lowndes County SWAT Team was then called in to assist.

Authorities say at some point during the incident, a fire started in the home. The subject was located and taken to South Georgia Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Authorities have identified the man as 31-year-old Timothy Smothers.

The GBI did not comment on Smothers' caused of death, or on whether authorities fired any weapons during the standoff.

An autopsy is scheduled to be performed on Monday.

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