2 officers shot in Georgia town after stopping stolen car

LAVONIA, Ga. (WNCN) – Two police officers were shot after stopping a stolen car in Lavonia Monday night and the suspect is still on the loose.

A hospital in Lavonia, St. Mary’s Sacred Heart, along with several businesses were on lockdown late Monday night as the search for the shooter was underway, according to WSPA.

According to Lavonia Police Chief Bruce Carlisle, one officer was shot in the shoulder and the other officer was shot in the hand and leg.

Photo from 92.1 WLHR via WSPA-TV. CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE
Photo from 92.1 WLHR via WSPA-TV. CLICK TO ENLARGE IMAGE

The Monday night shooting of the two officers means that six officers have been shot in Georgia in the past five days.

Greenville resident Khari Anthony Dashaun Gordon is wanted in connection with the shooting, WSPA reported.

Gordon is out on bond for an attempted murder charge in Greenville County, South Carolina.

The Lavonia officers were arresting the driver after pulling over a stolen car when the shooting happened, according to Chief Carlisle.

Both officers were being taken to Greenville Memorial Hospital for their injuries.

The shooting happened near the Zaxby’s on Jones Street, according to Chief Carlisle.

Lavonia, a town in Franklin County, is located along I-85 about 30 miles southwest of Greenville, South Carolina.

Two other officers in Georgia were shot and the suspected shooter was killed early Monday morning.

Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent J.T. Ricketson says 31-year-old Rainer Tyler Smith died in the exchange of gunfire early Monday.

Ricketson says Smith fired on Byron police officers James Wynn and William Patterson as they entered his house through the back door about 2:30 a.m.

Ricketson says officers returned fire, striking and killing Smith. He says Wynn and Patterson had first knocked on the front door and announced themselves, then went to the back when no one answered.

Ricketson says Smith lived at the home in the central city of Fort Valley with his 33-year-old girlfriend and their 1-month-old infant.

Byron police Lt. Bryan Hunter said Officer James Wynn underwent surgery for a gunshot to his left arm but is expected to recover fully. Byron police Officer William Patterson was also injured in the left arm and was treated at a hospital and released.

— The Associated Press and WSPA-TV contributed to this report

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