Lee Co. standoff ends in death despite deputies' efforts - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee Co. standoff ends in death despite deputies' efforts

Michael Richardson (Source: FACEBOOK) Michael Richardson (Source: FACEBOOK)
Deputies tried to get the man to stop (Source: WALB) Deputies tried to get the man to stop (Source: WALB)
Lee Co. Sheriff Reggie Rachals  (Source: WALB) Lee Co. Sheriff Reggie Rachals (Source: WALB)
Michael Donnell Richardson, Jr. set the car on fire  (Source: WALB) Michael Donnell Richardson, Jr. set the car on fire (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

A standoff with Lee County officials ended when a man shot himself in a burning car Wednesday morning.

Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said Michael Donnell Richardson, Jr. was seen driving a car on fire around 8 Wednesday morning off Hwy 19.

Witnesses called 911 reporting a burning car near SB&T Bank, next to the Lee Market parking lot.

Deputies said Richardson refused to get out and took off driving until he was boxed in.

He jumped a curb in the parking lot, and deputies quickly surrounded his car.

Witness Jessica Anderson captured video on her cell phone.

"It was crazy," she said. "I did video it. I wasn't sure what was going on. It was something I've never seen before."

Armed with a handgun, he places the weapon to his head, as Lee County deputies pleaded with the man to drop the gun.

"You're not going to prison, sir..." deputies told him.

About 10 minutes after it all began, it ended with a single gunshot, when Richardson took his own life. Deputies surrounded the car and removed the gun.

Rachals said the man had set fire to his own vehicle.

"It appeared he set the car on fire inside the vehicle and he was steadily trying to put some of the material that was on fire onto himself," he said.

Rachals said deputies did everything they could to prevent the man from making a deadly decision.

"They try to negotiate way before they ever have to do anything deadly. It's sad it turned out the way it did either way. He took his own shot," said Rachels.

To those who witnessed the scene play out in a busy shopping center - the same thoughts are shared about the outcome.

Now investigators trying to find the answer to what led this man to death at his own hands.

Copyright 2017 WALB.  All rights reserved.

Keep up with WALB on the go! 
Follow us on social  
   or download our apps!

  • More WALB News10 HeadlinesMore News HeadlinesMore>>

  • Lee Co. High School graduation moved to Albany Civic Center

    Lee Co. High School graduation moved to Albany Civic Center

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:58 PM EDT2018-05-22 21:58:05 GMT
    Albany Civic Center (Source: WALB)Albany Civic Center (Source: WALB)
    Albany Civic Center (Source: WALB)Albany Civic Center (Source: WALB)

    The graduation ceremony for Lee County High School has been moved to the Albany Civic Center. 

    More >>

    The graduation ceremony for Lee County High School has been moved to the Albany Civic Center. 

    More >>
  • Slots open now for Dougherty Co. pre-K summer program

    Slots open now for Dougherty Co. pre-K summer program

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:49 PM EDT2018-05-22 21:49:34 GMT
    Dougherty County pre-K leaders said it is accepting applications now for its pre-K Summer Transition Program. (Source: WALB)Dougherty County pre-K leaders said it is accepting applications now for its pre-K Summer Transition Program. (Source: WALB)
    Dougherty County Pre-K leaders said they are accepting applications now for their Pre-K Summer Transition Program. (Source: WALB)Dougherty County Pre-K leaders said they are accepting applications now for their Pre-K Summer Transition Program. (Source: WALB)

    Dougherty County school leaders said they're looking for children to attend their free pre-K enrichment program, and the time to apply is now.  

    More >>

    Dougherty County school leaders said they're looking for children to attend their free pre-K enrichment program, and the time to apply is now.  

    More >>
  • Officials warn about the dangers of leaving kids, pets in cars over the summer

    Officials warn about the dangers of leaving kids, pets in cars over the summer

    Tuesday, May 22 2018 5:43 PM EDT2018-05-22 21:43:25 GMT
    Emergency officials said it's important to not leave kids or pets in cars this summer at all. (Source: WALB)Emergency officials said it's important to not leave kids or pets in cars this summer at all. (Source: WALB)

    As temperatures begin to rise in South Georgia, emergency officials are sending an important message about the dangers of leaving kids and pets in cars. 

    More >>

    As temperatures begin to rise in South Georgia, emergency officials are sending an important message about the dangers of leaving kids and pets in cars. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly