Georgia town shaken in shooting death of officer

2 deputies injured, suspect killed in gunfire while serving warrant

By RALPH ELLIS, CNN, Associated Press
Jeff Martin/AP via CNN

A Locust Grove, Georgia, police officer was fatally shot.

(CNN) - The killing of a police officer and wounding of two deputies in a sudden, unexpected burst of gunfire has left a Georgia town in shock.

The fallen officer's wife is expecting the couple's second baby. And the town's mayor broke down as he spoke about the officer and his family hours after Friday morning's shooting.

Authorities said two deputies were also wounded in Friday morning's shooting and a suspect was killed.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a statement that preliminary results of an autopsy performed Saturday on Locust Grove Police Officer Chase Maddox at the crime lab in Decatur indicate he was shot three times, with the fatal wound being to the head.

The suspect, 39-year-old Tierre Guthrie, also died. An autopsy showed that he was shot four times, with two wounds to the chest.

Gunfire broke out as the officers were serving an arrest warrant Friday morning at a home in Locust Grove, about 40 miles southeast of Atlanta. Guthrie was wanted for failing to appear in court for traffic violations, the GBI said.

"They talked with the individual and after about 10 minutes of talking with him realized they were going to be making an arrest and they were going to have issues placing him in custody," Henry County Sheriff Keith McBrayer said. "It was obvious the individual was not going to go."

The deputies called for backup and a Locust Grove police officer arrived.

While trying to make the arrest, an altercation occurred during which the three officers and the suspect were all shot, McBrayer said. McBrayer did not say who opened fire.

One deputy was in serious condition and underwent surgery at Atlanta Medical Center and the second deputy was in fair condition in the same hospital, McBrayer said. 

The slain officer had about five years of experience, McBrayer said. McBrayer said one deputy had more than 20 years of experience and the second officer was a reserve deputy with "vast" law experience.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is leading the investigation.

Eleven other law enforcement officers have died of gunfire this year, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page.

They were identified as Eric Joering, 39, who had been with the department for 17 years, and Anthony Morelli, 54, who had served 30 years.

Two police officers died after being shot Saturday in Westerville, Ohio, a northern suburb of Columbus, authorities said. Eric Joering, 39,and Anthony Morelli, 54, were shot as they entered an apartment while responding to a 911 call that ended with a hangup.

On Wednesday, David Sherrard of the Richardson, Texas, police was killed while responding to a shots fired call at an apartment complex. A suspect is in custody.

On Monday, Micah Flick of the sheriff's office in El Paso County, Colorado, was killed while investigating a vehicle theft. Three other law enforcement officers were shot and injured during a struggle with the suspect in Colorado Springs, authorities say. The suspect was killed.

Flick was the third officer killed in Colorado since the beginning of the year.

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