LOCUST GROVE, Ga. (AP) – A police officer whose wife is expecting the couple’s second baby was killed Friday and two deputies were seriously wounded in a shooting that also left a suspect dead south of Atlanta, authorities said.
Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer said gunfire broke out as the officers were serving an arrest warrant around 11 a.m. at a home in Locust Grove, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of Atlanta.
Locust Grove Mayor Robert Price identified the slain officer as 26-year-old Chase Maddox, who had been with the department since he was 22.
“His wife is expecting their second child any day now, I’m told. We just need a lot of prayers for he and his wife and the baby that’s coming into this world without a daddy because of somebody …” the mayor said, choking up. “We got to pray for the two county officers that’s wounded. One’s not doing so hot and the other is better.”
McBrayer said one deputy was in serious condition and undergoing surgery, and had been hit below the bulletproof vest. The other was in fair condition, and was hit in the vest. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation later Friday identified the wounded deputies as Michael D. Corley and Ralph Sidwell “Sid” Callaway. Bureau spokeswoman Nelly Miles said Corley had been released from the hospital and Callaway was listed in stable condition after surgery.
Gunshots were fired inside the house as the deputies were trying to take a male suspect into custody on a warrant from the municipal court in Locust Grove, McBrayer said. He wouldn’t say who fired first or give other details about how it happened.
The sheriff said that “after about 10 minutes of talking with him (they) realized they were going to be making an arrest, and they were going to have issues placing him in custody.” At that point they called Locust Grove for backup from an officer.
He said they had no reason to believe when they arrived that the suspect would be violent.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate the shootings. The GBI identified the suspect as Tierra Guthrie, 39, on its Twitter page Friday night, but released no other details about him.
Police blocked off multiple entrances of a subdivision not far from an outlet mall, and turned away people who don’t live in the neighborhood.
Yellow police tape cordoned off a section of one home’s front yard. Nearby Locust Grove Elementary School was put on lockdown.
Juankeena Rodgers, 36, lives in the subdivision but police weren’t allowing her to go back home.
“It’s quiet. I’ve never had any issues and I pray I don’t have any, said Rodgers, who has lived there nearly two years.
“It’s scary because you never know who is in your neighborhood.”