Gun-selling investigation leads to deputy-involved shooting in Eden

The Effingham County Sheriff’s Office reports there’s been a deputy-involved shooting at a convenience store on Highway 80 in Eden (Credit: Robert Catanese)

Effingham County Sheriff’s Office reports that a deputy-involved shooting happened in Eden on Tuesday.

The sheriff’s office says the incident happened about 12:15 p.m. at the Shyam Food Market on Highway 80 near Old River Road while officers were investigating a gun-selling operation.

It was a year-long undercover investigation that included the Effingham County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division.

Officials say Vincent Thompson, 23, of Effingham County, was selling guns that were reported stolen or had altered identification to undercover deputies.

Gena Bilbo is the Effingham County Sheriff's office spokesperson. He said, "the suspect was known to be armed and dangerous."

Jimmy McDuffie is the Effingham County Sheriff who was also on scene.

"We were attempting to serve some warrants a search warrant for this young man and his house. Unfortunately, it wound up like it did," said McDuffie.

The man being looked into by the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigations Division was shot and taken into custody. He was treated at Memorial Hospital.

His injuries were not life-threatening, according to police, and he has been released and booked in the Effingham County Jail.

"This has been an ongoing investigation with us buying stolen weapons from this young man--he had a cache of several weapons," said McDuffie.

Both undercover and uniformed deputies conducted the arrest and were in possession of warrants for Thompson for felony criminal use of an article with an altered ID and theft by receiving stolen items.

Deputies also searched his home and found more than 40 guns, thousands of rounds of ammunition, as well as drugs.

"We do know that the guns we purchased from him were stolen weapons and one of them had the serial number filed off. He was selling stolen guns to 'Joe citizen' so anytime you are selling guns to people your not supped to it's always bad," said Mcduffie.

The deputy, now identified as Adam Harman, was not injured, according to the Effingham County Sheriff Office.

Harman was hired February 12, 2012, officials said.

"That's probably the most guns I've seen in one place other than a gun dealer. I don't think I've seen that many guns in one house in my life and I've been doing this over forty years," said Mcduffie.

The GBI was called on the shooting scene and is investigating.

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