3 killed, 2 officers hurt in standoff at Georgia home
Atlanta – A standoff that began when two Georgia police officers were shot and wounded has ended with a 16-year-old boy and a pregnant woman killed by a gunman who then killed himself, authorities said.
The two officers were responding to a domestic disturbance Thursday morning when they came under fire by the gunman, who then barricaded himself inside the house. A standoff ensued for the next 15 hours as police pleaded with the gunman to release the teenager from the home in Stockbridge, south of Atlanta.
Police were hopeful, saying that a negotiator was speaking with the gunman.
“With communication with the individual, at least he’s talking – that’s helpful,” Henry County police Capt. Joey Smith said at a Thursday afternoon news conference. “We’re going to wait as long as we can.”
However, by late Thursday night, the gunman was refusing to surrender and would not “provide proof of the well-being” of the teenager and the woman inside. So commanders made the decision to deploy gas inside the home, police said.
“The suspect fired numerous rounds at SWAT officers and vehicles,” police said in an update on social media late Thursday.
Police backed off with no additional injuries reported.
Finally, in the pre-dawn hours Friday, police forced their way into the home and found all three bodies. Their identities were not immediately released.
The officers were hospitalized at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta. Both were expected to survive, Smith said. One of them was struck in the hand and the other in the torso and hip area.
“I think the less injured officer was able to aid the other and get him out of the house,” Smith said.
Henry County has endured multiple shootings of police officers in the past two years.
In December, Henry County Officer Michael Smith was shot at a dentist’s office and died of his wounds about three weeks later. Employees at the dentist’s office had called police about a man who had been acting erratically, and Smith was shot as he confronted the man.
In February 2018, Locust Grove Officer Chase Maddox, 26, was shot in the head and killed in the Henry County town he patrolled. Two Henry County sheriff’s deputies were also wounded in that shooting as the three law enforcement officers tried to serve an arrest warrant at a home.