In a dramatic development during the ongoing manhunt for four escaped Georgia inmates, U.S. Marshals, supported by SWAT teams, encountered gunfire as they approached an apartment door. The incident led to the discovery of Christian Williams, 23, who had been missing for seven months after reportedly being abducted.
The armed law enforcement teams were met with gunfire from behind a closed apartment door, prompting them to forcefully enter the premises, according to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. Inside, they found Williams, who had sustained a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
This marked the first sighting of Williams since his alleged abduction on March 6, just hours before he was scheduled to appear in court to face 2021 murder charges. Williams was rushed to a hospital and is currently in critical condition.
Williams is suspected of assisting four other inmates, Joey Fournier, 52, Chavis Stokes, 29, Marc K. Anderson, 24, and Johnifer Barnwell, 37, in their escape from Bibb County Jail the previous week. The inmates had exited the jail through a damaged window in its oldest section, cut through a fence, and fled in a blue Dodge Challenger.
The escape vehicle was subsequently located in a Macon parking lot, approximately two miles north of the jail. However, the four fugitives remain at large as the search enters its second week.
The extent of Williams’s involvement in the jailbreak is currently under investigation. Additionally, his girlfriend, who was present at the time of the law enforcement encounter, has been arrested and charged with felony aiding or permitting another to escape lawful custody or confinement.
Despite the ongoing manhunt and the combined reward of $73,000 offered by law enforcement agencies for information leading to the capture of the escaped inmates, their whereabouts remain unknown.
Sheriff David Davis expressed uncertainty about the fugitives’ current status during a press conference, stating, “They could be anywhere. But how long they stay together or even if they’re together at this point: We don’t know.”
Previously released surveillance footage showed the last known sighting of Williams, who had been released on $100,000 bond and appeared to be mugged and forcibly taken by two individuals. Notably, Williams was wearing an ankle monitor at the time, although it was reported that the battery had died.
Sheriff Davis had expressed suspicion regarding Williams’s disappearance in a June interview, highlighting the absence of any communications or information regarding his whereabouts.
Despite the challenges posed by the escape, law enforcement agencies continue their efforts to locate and apprehend the four fugitives. Sheriff Davis urged the public to provide any information that could aid in their capture, emphasizing the importance of returning them to custody.
Individuals with information about the escapees’ possible whereabouts are encouraged to contact the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324), the U.S. Marshals at 1-877-WANTED2, or the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office at 478-751-7500. Tips may also be submitted online at tips.fbi.gov or through the USMS Tips App.