ATLANTA (AP) — A gunman suspected of shooting two Georgia police officers remain barricaded in a home Thursday with a teenager who was considered a hostage, police said.
Both officers were in serious condition at an Atlanta hospital as police negotiated with the gunman in a bid to get him to let the 16-year-old go, authorities said.
“We’re hoping he was going release the 16-year-old. He said he would, and we’re just standing by waiting,” Henry County police Capt. Joey Smith said at a Thursday afternoon news conference in the neighborhood south of Atlanta where the standoff unfolded.
“We do not want to make a dynamic entry into the home,” Smith added. “With communication with the individual, at least he’s talking — that’s helpful. We’re going to wait as long as we can.”
The two injured Henry County officers were being treated at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, hospital spokeswoman Denise Simpson said. Both officers are expected to survive, Smith said.
Police said they were called to a house in the community of Stockbridge about 10:45 a.m. Thursday on a “trouble unknown” call.
The officers were shot after entering the home, Smith said, adding 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.
One of the wounded officers was flown by helicopter to the hospital, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Stockbridge. Georgia’s transportation department helped clear northbound lanes of Interstate 75 so the other officer could be quickly driven to the hospital.
As negotiations continued Thursday afternoon, residents were told to stay clear of the area as officers dealt with what police described as “a very fluid situation.”
Henry County has endured multiple shootings of police officers in the past two years.
In December, Henry County police 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 police 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 officers tried to serve an arrest warrant at a home.