Man fatally shoots himself as police try to quiz him about fugitives

Christian Williams, 23, was pronounced dead by a coroner on Tuesday morning

Mike Bedigan
Los Angeles
Tuesday 24 October 2023 23:01 BST
Georgia Sheriff reveals how four men on the run escaped from jail

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A man has died after reportedly shooting himself, after police sought to question him about four escapees from a Georgia jail.

Christian Williams, 23, was pronounced dead by a coroner on Tuesday morning local time, the Bibb County Sheriff’s office said.

Officers from the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force had arrived at an apartment in Macon on Monday. When they knocked, gunfire was heard through the door.

A SWAT team later attended the scene and found a man, identified as Mr Williams, with a gunshot wound – apparently self-inflicted, according to the sheriff’s office.

Bibb County Sheriff David Davis told reporters that Mr Williams was not one of the four missing men, but that the department had received a tip that he may have had information in relation to their escape.

The force previously said that Mr Williams was reported to have been kidnapped on March 6, 2023, hours before he was due in court for on murder charges stemming from 2021.

Mr Davis said no officers fired their guns during the incident on Monday, which resulted in the death of Mr Williams, but that a second person had been taken into custody and was being questioned about the escapees.

The four men have been identified as Joey Fournier, Marc Kerry Anderson, Johnifer Dernard Barnwell and Chavis Demaryo Stokes.

On Friday, deputies found a blue Dodge Challenger abandoned in the parking lot of a Macon supermarket that they believe was involved in the escape.

According to The Associated Press, video showed the Challenger had been just outside the jail earlier in the night and appeared to show someone tampering with the fence. That person then brought some items into the enclosed area, and the sheriff said investigators believe the items were used to help the men escape. The men escaped out a jail window and through the fence.

A combined $73,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the inmates, who remain at large.

Fournier, 52, is a white male with gray hair and blue eyes who is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 140 pounds. He was being held on a murder charge after he was accused of killing his ex-girlfriend in February 2022.

Anderson, 24, is a Black male with dreadlocks and is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 165 pounds. He is charged with aggravated assault.

Barnwell, 37, is a Black male with braids and is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and weighs 190 pounds. He was being held on federal drug charges.

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