Update: The identity of man who died in officer involved shooting released


The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has released the name of the man who died in the officer involved shooting in Walton County on July 26, 2018. It was William Earnest Brooks, 43.

The GBI released the following press release.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 2:25 PM, Walton County deputies responded to a 911 call of a man riding an ATV outside of a home on Social Circle Fairplay Road, Social Circle, GA.  The caller indicated that the man had contacted the homeowner who confirmed that someone should be there to conduct yardwork, not riding an ATV.  Deputies arrived and made contact with Brooks on an ATV.  He fled and a foot chase ensued followed by a physical altercation in a field a short distance behind the house.  Preliminary information suggests that Brooks was overpowering the deputy.  The deputy drew his service weapon and fired one round.  It is unknown at this time if Brooks was struck at this point.  Brooks took the service weapon and fled deeper into the woods.  Walton Sheriff’s deputies, Social Circle police officers, Georgia State Troopers, and DNR Rangers began to arrive on scene.  Brooks was spotted in a lake, south of the original altercation site.  A GSP helicopter observed Brooks turn towards the shoreline and brandish a weapon.  At this time, multiple officers from Walton County Sheriff’s Office and one officer from Social Circle Police Department fired at Brooks who died on scene as a result of his injuries.

The deputy was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for his injuries and released.

The GBI is conducting an independent investigation and once complete, it will be turned over to the Walton County District Attorney’s Office for review. Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman confirmed at a press conference that the six deputies and one Social Circle Police officer involved in the shooting would be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the GBI investigation.


Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman confirmed that the suspect in what had been reported earlier as an officer-involved shooting is now deceased. He died in a shootout at the Hard Labor Creek Reservoir.

“He was located in a boat on the reservoir by the Georgia State Patrol helicopter. A shootout ensued between with Walton County Sheriff’s Deputies and a Social Circle Police officer and the suspect and he is deceased,” Chapman said. Divers are currently retrieving the body.

Chapman said the incident began at about 2:30 pm. this afternoon when a deputy responded to a suspicious person call at 708 Social Circle Fairplay Road.

“The suspect took off running and the deputy caught up with him. An altercation followed and the suspect took the deputies gun and ran. We set up a perimeter and he was located,” Chapman said.

Several agencies were involved, including the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Social Circle Police Department, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol and now the GBI.

Chapman said all the agencies are gathering at the WCSO for a press conference. The name of the suspect has not been released at this time.

Initial story

There has been an officer-involved shooting following a foot chase in the Social Circle area of Walton County.

Stay tuned for further details.

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