Deputy US marshal killed in shootout with fugitive

South Carolina attempted murder fugitive also died in shootout

WTOC-TV image
WTOC-TV image

LUDOWICI, Ga. – A deputy U.S. marshal was fatally shot Friday morning in southeast Georgia while trying to arrest a man wanted for attempted murder of police officers in South Carolina, federal authorities said. 

According the U.S. Marshals Service, 53-year-old Patrick Carothers was shot twice while trying to serve a warrant at a mobile home near Ludowici in rural Long County, about 55 miles southwest of Savannah. Authorities said the suspect, later identified as Dontrell Montese Carter, was killed by officers who returned fire. 

 Authorities said Carothers and his team were making entry  about 9 a.m. when he was shot twice. The team returned gunfire, hitting the fugitive, later identified as Dontrell Montese Carter, multiple times.

A medic on the team administered aid to Carothers, who was taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center in Hinesville, where he died from his injuries.

Carter, 25, was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Savannah, where he died.

Gil Smith, News4Jax crime and safety analyst, explained the process of serving an arrest warrant depends on the law enforcement agency.

"Sometimes, there could just be two or three officers that attempt to serve the warrant. In this case, we're not sure, just they were a team of officers. They felt they could effectively serve this warrant without the use of a SWAT team. So whatever technique they used, they made entry and, unfortunately, the federal marshal was fatally shot," Smith said.

Carter had been wanted since Sept. 18, when he fled Sumter County, South Carolina. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office at the time said officers were called after Carter assaulted his girlfriend and fired a gun into the home of a relative who intervened. Authorities said Carter led officers on a car chase, then fired his gun at police as he escaped on foot.

Carothers, a 26-year veteran of the U.S. Marshals Service, served as deputy commander of the Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force for more than a year. 

“Our deputies and law enforcement partners face dangers every day in the pursuit of justice nationwide,”  U.S. Marshals Service Deputy Director David Harlow said in a statement. “The fugitive who killed Deputy Cmdr. Carothers was extremely dangerous, wanted for trying to kill law enforcement officers and deliberately evading authorities. Pat is a hero and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and five children.”