A Hispanic Elberton man is dead after a routine traffic stop on Thursday evening at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Hartwell Highway at the Georgia Guidestones turned into a physical altercation resulting in the trooper shooting the individual in the torso.
Edwin Amaya Maldanado, 24, of Elberton, was pronounced dead at the scene.
The unnamed trooper conducted a traffic stop on Georgia Highway 77 (Hartwell Highway) at Red Hill Road in Elbert County. During the stop Maldonado was found to be driving without a license and was also suspected of driving under the influence (DUI).
At this point the trooper attempted to place Maldonado under arrest for the stated offenses and Maldonado resisted. The press release by the GBI then stated that during the physical altercation between the two Maldonado reached for the trooper’s gun belt. At this point the trooper fired one shot, shooting Maldonado in the torso.
Maldonado was transported to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy.
The GBI spokesperson said that the trooper involved was not on duty and that any administrative decisions would be made by the Georgia State Patrol. Several online sources state the trooper has been placed on administrative leave, as is standard procedure in such incidents.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene after the incident and is investigating all aspects of the shooting. GBI public relations officer Nelly Miles stated the agency will continue the independent investigation of the shooting in an effort to determine exactly what occurred during the incident. Once the investigation is complete all information will be turned over to the Northern Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review. Any charges stemming from the investigation would come from the district attorney’s office.
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