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Man struck by vehicle during shootout
Swainsboro police looking for suspect

Swainsboro police are seeking a suspect who was involved in a shooting incident with a bizarre twist that left a man dead Friday.

It remains unclear whether the victim, 25-year-old Willie Neal Phillips of Advance Street, suffered a gunshot wound during the exchange of gunfire between him and another man. Phillips was struck by a vehicle as he stepped into its path during the shooting, said Swainsboro police Chief Randy Ellison.

Investigators are awaiting autopsy results to determine how Phillips died, whether from gunshots or injuries sustained after being hit by the vehicle.

Officers responded to a 911 call around 7:30 p.m. Friday about shots being exchanged near the intersection of New Street and Flanders Street and arrived to find Phillips lying in the roadway surrounded by a “substantial amount of blood,” Ellison said.

Phillips was airlifted to an Augusta hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

The driver who struck Phillips did not stop because of the gunfire but instead drove straight to the Police Department to report the incident, Ellison said. The driver likely will not be charged in the incident, he said.

A witness at the scene captured portions of the incident on video, and by midnight Friday, police had identified Phillips and secured warrants for the suspect’s arrest, he said.

The case remains under investigation, and Ellison did not release the suspect’s identity.

No other injuries were reported.

Anyone with information about the shooting incident is asked to contact the Swainsboro Police Department at (478) 237-8967.



Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.

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