- The Washington Times - Monday, August 18, 2003

LITHONIA, Ga. (AP) — A man robbed a bank yesterday, carjacked an automobile and then fled to a house several miles away, where he was shot to death after an hourlong standoff with police, authorities said.

James T. Williams, 29, taunted police by patting his chest and saying “shoot me” as he waved a handgun toward them from the steps of the house, said Sgt. Pat White of DeKalb County Police.

SWAT team officers fired and hit Williams with as many as 20 rounds after he fired several times at them.

“We were prepared to use less-than-lethal means to end this situation in a peaceful way,” Sgt. White said. “But once he started using live rounds on us, we had no choice.”

Earlier yesterday, Williams robbed a Wachovia bank in Conyers, east of Atlanta, and carjacked a vehicle, authorities said.

Rockdale County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Jodi Shupe said the robber fired one shot inside the bank, but no one was injured. The carjacking victim was also uninjured, Miss Shupe said.

Miss Shupe said a bulletin was issued on the carjacked vehicle, and a Rockdale deputy spotted it and chased it into DeKalb County, where Williams got out of the car at a strip mall and ran.

Williams fired three shots at deputies, who returned fire, grazing him in the arm, Miss Shupe said. He then ran onto the porch of the house, where Rockdale sheriff’s hostage negotiators were able to engage him in conversation.

In a scene captured on local TV news, Williams sat on the steps of the building, while seven heavily armored DeKalb County SWAT officers lined up just a few yards away.

“He kept patting his chest and saying, ‘Shoot me,’ and he did put his gun to his own head a couple of times,” Miss Shupe said.

About 11:30 a.m., after a standoff of more than an hour, Williams suddenly raised his gun and began firing at the officers and retreating up the steps. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, one of his shots struck a SWAT team member’s shield, but the officer was not hurt.

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