BRUNSWICK, Ga. – A 33-year-old man was shot and killed late Saturday afternoon after he fired shots at officers while running from Brunswick police, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
State investigators said the incident began about 5 p.m. when a Brunswick officer patrolling downtown saw a vehicle speeding. While looking for that vehicle, police found a man on foot who ran when he saw officers.
The GBI said as one officer ran after the man, the suspect fired several shots in the direction of a second officer in the area of Newcastle and Bay streets. That officer, Lt. Donald Babbin, returned fire, hitting the man, later identified as Charles Eric Moses Jr, of Brunswick.
Moses was transported to Southeast Georgia Health System, where he died. No officers were injured during the incident.
Moses' body will be taken to the GBI Crime Lab in Pooler for an autopsy.
GBI, which was asked to take over the investigation, said a weapon was recovered at the scene. Investigators were also seen bagging evidence outside of the crime scene tape. One item looked like a car key. Investigators with flashlights and metal detectors looked through Jekyll Square on Saturday evening.
On Grant Street, there were cones and evidence markers near an SUV. News4Jax saw the fire department arrive and spray the ground right behind the SUV, as if they were cleaning something up.
Brunswick’s mayor and a city commissioner told News4Jax they came out to make sure the investigation would be done properly.
“We certainly want to make sure that our citizens understand this situation, so they know the details and facts as they are,” Commissioner Vincent Williams said.
“We realize that something tragic has happened again here in our community and the GBI is here to investigate it, and we are going to do all we can to make sure the public is aware of what’s going on," Mayor Cornell Harvey said.
Kim Neal said that she wasn’t far from the shooting when it happened.
“I was just getting off work. I had just locked the door, was walking to my car and by the time I got to my car door, I heard the shot. It was, like, ‘Pow, pow, pow, pow,’” Neal said. “It was even a minute, it was two minutes, and two police cars coming down Newcastle behind my car going towards the shooting area.”
Once the GBI investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to the Brunswick Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.
“Him running from the police is not an offense in it of itself,” said News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson. Unless they were looking for him and he was wanted for something. The information goes on to say they started chasing him on foot and he fired multiple shots in the direction of Babbin, who shot back at Moses, and later died at the hospital."
Georgia Department of Correction’s website showed Moses was released on parole just over a year ago after serving five years of a 17-year sentence for robbery.
“This is a person obviously he was on probation since August of last year,” Jefferson said. “A person who did not want any type of interaction with the police because he knows had he had interaction with police, more than likely he was going to go back to prison so he fled. But the worst thing he ever could’ve done was to take shots at the police.”