ATLANTA (WFLA) — A Georgia deputy was found dead in his personal vehicle Thursday night, according to officials.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said the body of Deputy James Thomas, 24, and his vehicle were found on Bolton Road after a passing driver tipped off authorities about a shooting.
According to the sheriff’s office, Thomas was fatally shot while off duty.
Thursday, Atlanta police officials said the deputy was involved in a “motor vehicle accident,” but investigators could not determine whether he was shot before or after the incident.
Major Peter Malecki of the Atlanta Police Department said someone came forward and said they were involved in the traffic incident. However, Malecki said the person is not believed to be directly involved with the shooting.
“Right now, we do not know if the shooter was a pedestrian on foot or if he was perhaps in another vehicle,” the major said Thursday.
Thomas joined the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office in August 2022 and worked at the Grady Detention Center before his death.
“He was recruited to the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office from the Milledgeville Police Department, because of his dedication to the law enforcement profession, and his remarkable work ethic,” the sheriff’s office said. “He will be truly missed.”
A $30,000 reward has been offered for information leading to an arrest.