CLEVELAND — As the Georgia Bureau of Investigation continues its probe into the Sunday-morning shooting involving a Habersham County sheriff’s deputy that resulted in the death of an armed White County man, information has been released on what happened in White County prior to the shooting incident.
Christopher Collins, 24, of Tom Cantrell Road, Cleveland, was shot at approximately 9:20 a.m. Sunday, following a traffic stop, according to GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles. That traffic stop followed an area-wide lookout after separate incidents earlier Sunday in White County and Toccoa.
The incident Sunday started around 7 a.m. at 450 Cantrell Road in Cleveland, with Collins allegedly acting strange and pointing a gun at the victim, according to White County Sheriff’s Capt. Scotty Scarbrough. Collins then fled the area in a Ford Explorer that belonged to his father.
According to Scarbrough, the vehicle was not stolen because Collins had permission to use it. While deputies were still investigating the White County incident, a lookout was issued to check the Collins’ welfare based on his behavior and because he had a gun.
The next contact with Collins occurred at Pruitt Health (formerly Toccoa Nursing Center) in Toccoa, when he attempted to take an elderly motorist’s vehicle at gunpoint.
The deputy-involved shooting occurred during a traffic stop just off Ga. 15 in Habersham County, when Collins failed to comply with the deputy’s orders to show his hands, then exited the vehicle with a firearm, according to Miles.