Police news

CEDARTOWN — A Georgia State Patrol trooper shot and killed an Aragon man who fled from a DUI patrol early Saturday in Polk County, according to a news release from the GBI and Coroner Tony Brazier.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate.

Troopers were conducting a driving undernfluence patrol on Fish Creek Road at approximately 12:15 a.m. when a driver attempted to elude law enforcement, the GBI reported.

GSP troopers pursued the fleeing vehicle until it was stopped at the intersection of Collard Valley Road and Old Collard Valley Road.

One unidentified passenger got out of the vehicle. As Trooper Johnathan Mason made contact with the driver, identified as Jason Dennis Watkins, 36, Watkins accelerated the vehicle. During the encounter, Mason shot Watkins, the GBI said.

Brazier said Watkins lived at 13 Magnolia St. in Aragon.

Troopers quickly began lifesaving efforts, according to Brazier, and emergency medical personnel then rushed Watkins to Polk Medical Center’s emergency room.

He was pronounced dead at the hospital at 12:55 a.m. Saturday, Brazier said.

Watkins’ body has been sent to the GBI crime lab for an autopsy, Brazier said.

Watkins had previously been released from jail on a felony bench warrant in Superior Court after spending 42 days behind bars, according to information from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The GBI will continue its independent investigation to determine what occurred during the incident. Upon completion, it will be turned over to the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.

Polk Standard Journal Editor Kevin Myrick contributed to this report.