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Deputies fire at suspect during traffic stop in north Forsyth
Man, uninjured, arrested on drug charges
Vanus nichols
Nichols - photo by For the Forsyth County News

NORTH FORSYTH — Law enforcement personnel fired shots during a traffic stop Tuesday night in north Forsyth that resulted in a man’s arrest and the seizure of money and suspected drugs, though no one was injured.

The incident occurred about 10 p.m. at Jot Em Down and Gib Evans roads, just west of Ga. 400, when deputies pulled over 34-year-old Vanus Nichols of Cumming.

Nichols is a reported drug dealer the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office had been watching, said the agency’s Maj. Rick Doyle.

According to Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, Nichols has been charged with aggravated assault on an officer and possession of methamphetamine. He is being held without bond at the Forsyth County Jail.

Nichols was in possession of enough suspected meth to warrant a charge of intent to distribute. About $7,200 in cash was also found in the vehicle.

During the course of the roadside investigation, two sheriff’s deputies and one Georgia Probation officer were forced to open fire on the suspect, Rodriguez said.

The gunfire was in response to Nichols attempting to run over three deputies with his vehicle, Rodriguez said. He nearly hit one of the deputies, who in turn shot at him.

“We shoot to stop a threat,” Rodriguez said.

There is no evidence he fired back at the officers, Rodriguez said, though the incident remains under investigation.

Nichols, who was traveling alone, was not wounded by the gunfire.

As with any officer-involved shooting, the deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation is conducted.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is handling the matter.