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Defendant in GSC armed robbery killed in Hancock County

A 22-year-old Sparta man who allegedly brandished a gun during the robbery of a student at Gordon State College here on Aug. 11, 2016 died following a confrontation with officers after a traffic stop in Hancock County Dec. 12. The GBI is investigating the incident as an officer-involved shooting but initial indications are no law enforcement officer at the scene fired a weapon. ******************** NOTICE: This story and photo are under copyright. They may not be republished or disseminated in any form – including social media – without explicit permission. ********************* Hancock County sheriff’s deputies stopped a car on Fairmont Road in Sparta at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday when the passenger, 22-year-old Dequane Rayshun Williams, exited the vehicle and approached a deputy. The deputy recognized him as having an active warrant, according to a GBI news release. Williams then fled on foot and a second deputy and a state trooper pursued him. Williams then pointed a pistol in the direction of one of the deputies. The trooper made brief physical contact with Williams and, shortly thereafter, Williams’ weapon discharged multiple times striking Williams. Williams died on the scene. Nellie Miles of the GBI reports no officers fired their weapons and Williams’ wounds were self-inflicted. His body was taken to the GBI crime lab. Williams had outstanding warrants here for armed robbery and carrying a weapon on school grounds from the 2016 incident at Gordon. The first week of the 2016 fall semester at GSC was marred by an on-campus armed robbery that occurred late on the second day of classes. A Gordon student was sitting on a wall near The Village housing complex at about 11:30 p.m. when he was accosted by two black males, one of whom brandished a handgun. The student forked over a small amount of cash but was unhurt. The suspects drove away but their vehicle was stopped for a traffic violation a short time later. Gordon police were in the process of issuing a lookout for the vehicle when they heard the BPD radio traffic and suspected those stopped were involved in the robbery. That was confirmed and the two men were arrested and booked into the Lamar County jail. Williams, then 20, was living at 221 Jenkins St. in Barnesville. The second man was Keondre Deshon Strother, then 20, of 72 Britt St. in Sparta. Neither of the robbers were Gordon students. Strother entered guilty pleas and agreed to testify that Williams was the gunman in the robbery. Williams was due in Lamar superior court to enter a guilty plea on July 16, 2018 though prosecutors were ready to try him at that time if he did not plea. Strother had been brought here from prison to testify if need be, according to interim chief assistant district attorney Cindy Adams. Williams did not show up, a bench warrant was issued and that warrant was still pending against him when he died on the side of the road in Sparta, Adams said.

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