UPDATE | Mom of suspect shot by deputies says his guns were fake

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Thursday, April 20, 2017

11:00

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Columbia County Sheriff's Office Force Investigation Team has completed their investigation and ruled that the deputy who fired at a suspect in Burke County was justified in shooting the suspect, Steve Austin Dykes.

His mother, Mary Dykes, said her son is autistic, and she said she doesn't agree with what happened.

"With a child like him, he's 20 years old, but he's only got the mind of a two-year-old," Dykes said.

Dykes said he is pretty well known in Burke County.

"He waves at all the traffic that goes by everyday, and everybody in Girad knows him really well," Dykes said. "They know he is waving and he is friendly and the folks around here pick him up, and they will either take him to his dads house or my house."

Dykes said walking to and from his dad's house is a part of her son's routine, and she said she used to be comfortable when he made that walk but not anymore.

Deputies responded to a call about someone waving and pointing a gun at cars off Highway 23 and Griffin Landing, according to the Burke County Sheriff's Office.
The report said when deputies responded to the scene they saw two guns in Steve Dykes possession. One gun in his waist band and another in his pocket.

"He had two toy guns. He thought they were real, but they are fake," Dykes said. "You can tell they were fake because one was a cap gun and had the orange cap on it."

Deputies have not confirmed or denied whether the guns were fake. Deputies said they had their guns drawn when they approached Steve. When he went to reach for one of the guns, deputies said they gave him several warnings before Captain Jason Vinson fired three shots.

"Cops have picked up him up many times. They knew he was autistic because I have told them," Dykes said.

One bullet hit her son in the arm, but Dykes said she is still waiting for the reality to hit her.

"I'm really angry. I'm hurt. I'm sad because they could have killed my child yesterday," Dykes said


5:04 p.m.

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Force Investigation Team has completed their investigation and ruled that the deputy who fired at a suspect in Burke County was justified in shooting the suspect.

Captain Jason Vinson fired at Steve Austin Dykes, 21, of Girard, after he allegedly refused to follow lawful commands and reached for a weapon that was clearly visible from his waistband pocket.

District Attorney Natalie Paine reviewed everything with the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Force Investigation Team Thursday morning and also stated that the use of force was justified.

On April 19 at around 4:11 p.m., the Burke County Sheriff's Office responded to multiple calls for Dykes in the roadway of Highway 23 displaying a firearm at drivers and attempting to stop stop them near Griffin Landing.

Multiple Deputies responded to the call and those first on the scene were Chief Lewis Blanchard and Captain Jason Vinson. Major Robbie Bell and Investigator Jamie Jackson arrived immediately after, according to the Burke county Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said they approached Dykes with firearms drawn as they immediately saw one firearm visible and then noted the presence of a 2nd firearm in his other pocket.

When Dykes allegedly refused to follow lawful commands, Captain Jason Vinson fired three shots striking him in the forearm. Dykes was then taken into custody and transported to Augusta University with non-life threatening injuries.

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Dykes is in need of a mental evaluation and possible treatment. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office is assisting the family in this matter.

Sheriff Williams stated “We are extremely grateful in that our Deputies were not injured and that the suspect sustained only minor injuries prior to his arrest.”

10:27 a.m.

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The suspect shot in an officer-involved shooting on Wednesday was released from the hospital back into custody.

Steve Austin Dykes, 21, of Girard, was shot by deputies and was taken to Augusta University Medical Center after allegedly trying to grab a pistol from his pants pocket. Deputies said they warned him several times not to grab it and told him to put his hands up.

Investigators are still looking into the shooting. The deputy involved was placed on light administrative duty during the investigation.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

10:00 p.m.

BURKE COUNTY, Ga.(WRDW/WAGT) -- The Burke County Sheriff's Office has identified the suspect in today's officer involved shooting.

They say Steve Austin Dykes, 21, of Girard, was shot by deputies and was taken to Augusta University Medical Center.

The 21-year-old male allegedly went to grab a pistol from his pants pocket after deputies said they warned him several times not to grab it and told him to put his hands up.

There are multiple law enforcement agencies assisting in the investigation including the GBI and the Columbia County Sheriff's Office Force Investigation.

6:17 p.m.

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- The Burke County Sheriff's Office said the man arrested in connection to the deputy-involved shooting was hit in the left forearm.

The 21-year-old male allegedly went to grab a pistol from his pants pocket after deputies said they warned him several times not to grab it and told him to put his hands up.

When he continued to reach for it, a deputy fired several times.

The man was taken to Augusta University in stable condition, Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams said.

5 p.m.

BURKE COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A suspect has been taken into custody in Burke County after displaying a gun to drivers on Highway 23 at Griffin Landing.

The sheriff's office said when deputies arrived at around 4:30 p.m., they approached the man with their guns drawn and when the suspect refused their commands and reached for the weapon visible from his waistband, a deputy fired shots.

The suspect was hit and taken into custody. He been transported by Burke County EMA to Augusta University with non-life threatening injuries, according to the Burke County Sheriff's Office.

Read the original version of this article at www.wrdw.com.