Man fatally shoots himself as police try to question him about fugitives

A man has died after allegedly shooting himself after police tried to question him about four escapees from a Georgia prison.

Christian Williams, 23, was pronounced dead by the medical examiner on Tuesday morning local time, the Bibb County Sheriff's Office said.

US Army Special Task Force officers had arrived at an apartment in Macon on Monday. When they knocked, shots rang out from the door.

A SWAT team later attended the scene and found a man, identified as Mr. Williams, with a gunshot wound – apparently self-inflicted, according to the sheriff's office.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis told reporters that Mr. Williams was not one of the four missing, but that the department had received a tip that he might have information about their escape.

The force previously said Mr Williams was reported to have been abducted on March 6, 2023, hours before he was to appear in court on murder charges dating back to 2021.

Mr Davies said no officers fired their weapons during the incident on Monday, which resulted in the death of Mr Williams, but that a second person had been taken into custody and was being questioned about the escapees.

The four men have been identified as Joey Fournier, Marc Kerry Anderson, Johnifer Dernard Barnwell and Chavis Demaryo Stokes.

On Friday, deputies found a blue Dodge Challenger abandoned in the parking lot of a Macon supermarket that they believe was involved in the getaway.

According to the Associated Press, the video showed Challenger standing just outside the prison earlier in the night and appeared to show someone breaching the fence. That person then brought some items into the closed area, and the sheriff said investigators believe the items were used to help the men escape. The men escaped through the prison window and through the fence.

A combined $73,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the inmates, who remain at large.

Fournier, 52, is a white man with gray hair and blue eyes, standing 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighing 140 pounds. He was held on a charge of murder after being accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in February 2022.

Anderson, 24, is a black man with dreadlocks and stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. He is charged with aggravated assault.

Barnwell, 37, is a black man with braids and stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. He was booked on federal drug charges.