LOCUST GROVE — A Locust Grove police officer is dead and two Henry County sheriff’s deputies were injured as the result of a Friday morning shooting on St. Francis Court in Locust Grove.
The sheriff’s deputies were attempting to serve an arrest warrant for failure to appear in court at a home in the 1200 block at about 10:50 a.m. When it appeared the suspect would not come willingly, the deputies called in the Locust Grove officer for backup.
Sheriff Keith McBrayer said in a press conference Friday afternoon that shots were fired at the officers inside the residence. The suspected shooter was shot and killed at the scene. The shooter has not yet been identified by authorities pending a family notification.
The Locust Grove officer died of his injuries shortly after.
“This is an active investigation,” McBrayer said. “There’s a lot going on, a lot of information being gathered at this time.”
Both sheriff’s deputies where transported to Atlanta Medical Center, where one is in fair condition and the other is in serious condition after being shot in the stomach and is currently undergoing surgery. The deputy in fair condition was shot in the chest, though the deputy’s vest caught the round.
Though there were others inside the St. Francis Court home at the time gunfire was exchanged, no one else was injured.
McBrayer said there was no reason to believe that the suspect would be violent or that the situation would turn deadly when sheriff’s deputies arrived to serve the warrant.
“Of course when you go to take someone into custody, you never know what kind of response you’re going to get,” the sheriff said. “Our information is that it was obvious that the individual was not going to go, and that’s the reason they called for a Locust Grove officer to give them some more assistance.”
The investigation into the shooting has been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
“We ask for your patience,” GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said. “It is a very emotional time for the Henry County community. As soon as we do have more information, we’ll be able to update you.”
Locust Grove Elementary School, which is located approximately a half mile from St. Francis Court, was placed on hard lockdown for 10 minutes immediately following the shootings, said JD Hardin, Henry County Schools spokesman. Hard lockdown requires children to be in their classrooms with doors shut and lights off.
The school shifted into a soft lockdown for approximately 30 minutes. Soft lockdown allows students and staff to move about, but nobody is permitted to enter or exit the building.
Hardin said the decision to issue a lockdown was made “based out of an abundance of caution” and parents were notified via a telephone call of the lockdown.
The lockdown has since been lifted and did not affect the school’s 2:25 p.m. dismissal. Officials have also received an “all clear” from law enforcement concerning bus movement and student drop off.