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GBI identifies gunman in police shooting
Coroner: Pringle's family notified
WEB Eric pringle
Eric Pringle is shown in a photo taken from his Facebook page. - photo by Special

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent-in-Charge Micah Ward officially confirmed Monday the man who opened fire on a Statesboro Police officer, then was killed in defensive fire by a Bulloch County Sheriff's deputy, is Eric Pringle.

Witnesses at the scene Thursday identified the shooter as Pringle, but law enforcement investigators did not confirm his identity until family members were notified.

Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch said Friday there was some difficulty in locating Pringle's family, but both he and Ward said Monday the family had been informed of the incident that resulted in Pringle's death.

Witnesses and police reports stated Pringle was alone, sitting near his vehicle, playing loud music around 9:45 p.m Wednesday when Statesboro Police Officer Charles Brown approached to talk to him about complaints.
Pringle pulled a gun, loaded it quickly and fired, striking Brown in the chest and grazing his face. Brown wore a Kevlar vest, which Statesboro Public Safety Director Wendell Turner said "saved his life."

Pringle walked through the Varsity Lodge apartment complex, possibly firing a round into what witnesses said was the apartment manager's vehicle, before entering some woods on Rucker Lane, where other responding law enforcement officers approached him.

Ward said when Pringle refused to put down his weapon, "there was more gunfire," and Bulloch County Sheriff's Deputy Rey Rodriguez fired a shot from which Pringle died.

Neighbors said Pringle was a disturbed man who appeared depressed, and was often seen drinking alone while listening to music or standing outside his apartment door, crying. Pringle's Facebook page listed no friends, but offered several video clips where Pringle made comments about people being " after" him.

Brown is in stable condition, Turner said. Both he and Rodriguez were allowed time off and will return to work when they are ready, according to Turner and Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.

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


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