Community stunned by deadly shooting

Published: Feb. 14, 2005 at 8:47 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 17, 2005 at 10:34 PM EST
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Wesley Beaver was shot by a Lee County Deputy
Wesley Beaver was shot by a Lee County Deputy

Leesburg-- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating a deadly shooting that occurred Sunday night. Seventeen-year-old Wesley Beaver was driving his white GMC truck North on U.S. 19 about midnight Sunday, when he was pulled over by Lee County deputies, who considered him a suspect in a pawn shop break-in.

When Beaver stopped his truck near the Weslo Mobile Home Park, one of the deputies pulled his .40 caliber pistol, and shot Beaver in the face. He was taken to a hospital for treatment, and was pronounced dead 1:30 Monday afternoon.

The door of Leesburg Pawn shop on U. .S 19 was fixed Monday morning, after workers inside say a burglary suspect broke it Sunday night.

Most residents at Weslo Estates say they didn't know about a shooting in front of the mobile home park, but Shelly Doskis says she definitely heard it. "I could hear it. That's what scared me." Doskis says she told her husband about the gunshots and then... "I turned on the lights. That's what I did I turned on my lights," she said.

GBI agents say Lee County deputies responded to the shop's burglary alarm when they saw a white GMC pickup truck leaving the back of the store. It was being driven by 17-year old Roger Wesley Beaver.

Deputies chased Beaver up U. S. Highway 19 for just over a mile and pulled him over right in front of Weslo Estates. One deputy got out of his patrol car and started giving orders, that's when investigators say he fired his gun and shot Beaver in the face. He was transported to Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital in Albany, but was later pronounced dead at 1:30 PM.

GBI agents will not say if there was any sign that Beaver had just tried to burglarize the pawn shop or whether he even had a weapon. No one at the Lee County sheriff's office would comment on the investigation.

Sources say Deputy Sandra Pressley Fordham and Captain Donnie Spillers were involved and Spillers was the one who fired the fatal shot. Sheriff Harold Breeden did not show up for work Monday, nor did his chief investigator.

Breeden may not have shown up because sources say 17-year old Beaver is the sheriff's great-nephew. Attempts to contact Sheriff Breeden at home Monday were also unsuccessful.