By Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2020

AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) - A Georgia man is accused of shooting and killing a city code enforcement officer.

Augusta code enforcement officer Charles Case was found shot multiple times in the middle of a residential street Thursday morning. He died before he could be taken to a hospital.

Richmond County sheriff’s deputies say Smitty OIiver Melton, 65, was arrested late Thursday in nearby Aiken County, South Carolina. He was jailed there awaiting extradition to Georgia to face murder and firearm charges. It’s unclear if Melton has a lawyer to speak for him.

Court records show tax officials sued Melton in December for not paying property taxes. Sergeant William McCarty of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office said Case believed he was performing a routine call.

“It’s a dangerous position and the only thing they have is a badge, and that maybe be good enough to get the job done,” said Augusta Commissioner Bill Fennoy.

Tamekila Walton, a neighbor, told The Augusta Chronicle she heard four gunshots and she and several others ran to find Case lying in the road.

Four large red shell casings on the ground looked like shotgun shells, Walton said. She also saw bullet holes in the door of Case’s city vehicle, she said.

Melton’s half-brother, Rufus Roberts, said Melton has a short temper.

“He’s just a snapper, everybody around here just knows how he is,” Roberts told WJBF-TV. “He gets hyped up and he does crazy stuff, man.”

Case previously investigated animal abuse for the city.

“We are incredibly shocked and saddened by this terrible crime,” City Administrator Jarvis Sims said. “Chip was a kind, dedicated team member and colleague. Our hearts are breaking and our prayers are with his family, department and friends.”

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