Stockbridge, GA – The 15-hour standoff with a gunman who shot two Henry County police officers ended early Friday morning, after the suspect murdered two hostages and then killed himself.
A SWAT team entered the Eagle Court residence at approximately 3 a.m., after a long period of silence from the gunman, Henry County Police Captain Joey Smith said, according the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Inside, they discovered the bodies of a 16-year-old boy, his pregnant mother, and the suspect.
The woman was approximately 36-weeks pregnant when she was killed, Capt. Smith said.
The incident began at approximately 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, when one of the woman’s relatives called 911 to report there was some kind of “unknown trouble” going on at the house, the captain explained.
Anetria White later told WGCL that she called police after she found her sister, Sandra, “dead in the garage.”
When Henry County police arrived at the scene, they forced their way inside and were immediately met with gunfire, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“They were both struck,” Captain Smith said, according to WAGA. “I do not believe they returned fire.”
One officer was shot in the hip and chest.
His partner, who was shot in the hand, was able to get them both to safety, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The unnamed veteran officers, both of whom are in their 30s, were transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in serious condition. Their wounds were not believed to be life-threatening.
After shooting the officers, the gunman barricaded himself inside the residence, prompting the Georgia State Patrol SWAT team to respond to the scene.
Investigators were aware that the suspect had two hostages inside the home, and he refused to give police any assurances that they were unharmed.
“We felt [the suspect] was being dishonest,” Capt. Smith said. “We had no contact with the 16-year-old, or any idea that the female was OK.”
“It’s very dangerous. You got a potentially-armed suspect, he’s fired at two officers, we can’t get very close to the house,” Captain Smith said on Thursday afternoon, according to WAGA.
“We do not want to make a dynamic entry into the home,” he explained, according to ABC News. “With communication with the individual, at least he’s talking – that’s helpful. We’re going to wait as long as we can.”
At one point, the gunman told police he would release the 16 year old.
“He said he would, and we’re just standing by waiting,” Capt. Smith said at the time, according to WSB.
But the suspect never followed through with his promise to release the boy.
White later identified the teen as her nephew, Arkeyvion, WGCL reported.
She said the boy played football for Dutchtown High School.
At approximately 9 p.m., police fired tear gas into the residence, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“It was like a bomb went off at first, but now it’s just shooting — a lot of shooting,” neighbor Dwight Taylor said at the time.
The series of tear gas deployments sounded like gunfire, police said.
SWAT tried to enter the home again just before 11 p.m., but were turned away by the suspect’s gunfire.
The officers were not wounded during the attempt, and did not return fire.
The gunman had no further contact with police.
“Our gunman, it appears, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” Capt. Smith said. “That was confirmed by the [Georgia State Patrol] SWAT entry team.”
“Right now, we’re just trying to secure the scene,” he explained. “There’s a lot of damage to the home. There were some chemical agents used to make entry and we cannot assess the house.”
The female victim was a registered nurse and was 19 days away from her pregnancy’s anticipated due date, her sister told WGCL.
She planned to name her little boy Antonio, White said.
She said she recently spoke with the suspect about hosting a baby shower for her sister on Saturday.
“He was doing the cooking,” White told WGCL.
White said that her sister had been in a relationship with the suspect for about five years and he was the father of the baby she was carrying, but that she was not happy.
“Maybe he just snapped. I don’t know,” she said.
White said that her sister had served her boyfriend with an eviction notice in March, but that he “just wouldn’t leave.”
“He moved and stayed in the garage,” she continued. “After that, somehow, he just worked his way back in.”
They had been living in the Eagle Ridge subdivision for about six months, neighbor Russell Blanding told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The wounded Henry County officers remain hospitalized, WAGA reported.
Capt. Smith said that it appears that the officer who was shot in the chest was likely saved by his ballistic vest.
“Very likely, I know it was in the upper torso area… and it most likely did strike the vest, I just can’t confirm it,” he told reporters.
Rick Corssey said he is the father-in-law of one of the wounded officers.
“Army veteran, two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, he’s been on the force for a while. It’s just a terrible tragedy,” Corssey told WAGA.
He thanked the community for its support, and praised the Clayton County Police Department for escorting him and his wife to the hospital immediately after the shooting.
White was devastated by the final outcome of the standoff.
“I don’t know what to say. If you come over to your sister’s house and you see her dead in the garage and then you wait from 11 o’clock in the morning until now you find out all three of them are gone,” she told WGCL through tears.