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Man killed Monday had a history of legal trouble

Man killed Monday had a history of legal trouble

Man killed Monday had a history of legal trouble

The scene of Monday's shooting on Rac...

A man killed Monday during a shootout with police had a previous record involving gunfire and a civil dispute over a vehicle.

George Pryor, 61, was killed during a civil matter that turned violent around 9:30 a.m. Monday when shots were fired at his home, at 315 Rackley St., Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said.

Witnesses told the Statesboro Herald the confrontation revolved around a van on his property that was a violation of Statesboro city code.

When a code enforcement officer and a Statesboro police officer approached Pryor about the van, which neighbors said held sentimental value for him, he went inside his house and returned with a gun.

Witnesses said he opened fire, and police responded by firing back. Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch said autopsy results showed Pryor died from multiple gunshot wounds sustained in the altercation.

Both the code enforcement officer and police officer were placed on paid administrative leave, following city policy, Turner said.

Neither have been identified because of the ongoing investigation status. The incident is being reviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

A records request placed to the city of Statesboro seeking copies of all code enforcement and police complaints or incident reports since 2009 was denied because the case is still under investigation.

However, Bulloch County Jail records show Pryor was jailed in 2011 on charges of criminal use of article with altered identification mark, reckless conduct, simple assault and discharge of a firearm near a highway.  These charges stem from an incident handled by Statesboro police. Details were unavailable due to the records request denial.

Also, Pryor was involved in a vehicle repossession earlier this year, according to Bulloch County sheriff’s reports.
Cpl. Greg Collins served Pryor with a civil writ of possession in April, which allowed him seven days to respond, according to his report and civil action documents obtained from the Bulloch County Clerk of Courts.

He did not reply within that time period, and a Bulloch County Superior Court judge signed an order granting the writ of possession, allowing the van to be seized.

The civil suit filed by Santander Consumer USA, successor in interest to Sovereign Bank, stated that Pryor defaulted on payments of a loan for which the bronze 2002 Dodge Neon was collateral.

Collins returned to Pryor’s home on May 13 and was met with opposition, he said in reports.

Pryor “became uncooperative and stated that I was not taking his vehicle,” he said. “I signed off on the writ and gave Mr. Pryor his copy. I called for a wrecker to impound the vehicle, Mr. Pryor stated that if I entered his gate I would be breaking the law.”

There was no further protest after Collins explained the repossession was by court order, he said.

Pryor was a Bulloch County native, a self-employed carpenter and tile finisher.

Celebration of Life services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Second St. John Baptist Church on Fair Road, where Pryor was a member. Interment will follow in the church cemetery.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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