HAMPTON, Ga. (AP) — Officers shot and killed a man wanted in four weekend killings near Atlanta during an exchange of gunfire, and a sheriff’s deputy and a police officer were injured trying to take the suspect into custody, authorities said.
Henry County Sheriff’s spokesperson Syntonnia Moore said Andre Longmore was shot during an intense manhunt for the 40-year-old man. The exchange of gunfire came a day after Saturday morning’s shootings rocked a quiet subdivision of Hampton, south of Georgia’s main city.
Moore said law enforcement forces killed Longmore in a nearby area of Clayton County, adding a Henry County sheriff’s deputy and a Clayton County police officer were injured in the attempt to arrest Longmore.
Moore said she had no update on the officers’ conditions.
Deputy U.S. Marshal Van Grady confirmed gunfire was exchanged, adding of Longmore: “He fired on law enforcement and they returned fire.” Earlier, before the shooting of the suspect, he had signaled the manhunt had come to an end, saying “the threat posed by Mr. Longmore to the public has been eliminated.”
Authorities had said they were seeking Longmore on four counts of murder in connection with the deaths of four people Saturday morning in the Dogwood Lakes subdivision of Hampton. Police haven’t disclosed a motive for those shootings.
On Sunday, the subdivision was crawling with law enforcement officers and Hampton Police Capt. Chaundra Brownlee said in a statement that investigators were actively seeking the public’s help and “looking into each tip provided” as they searched for Longmore.
Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett had said earlier that his office was offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the suspect’s arrest and prosecution.
On Sunday, neighbor Frankie Worth described the danger up close as he saw part of what unfolded in the subdivision a day earlier. He told The Associated Press he heard a gunshot Saturday morning as he was reaching for his living room window to open the blinds and figure out how much yard work he had to do.
Worth said he ducked “just for a second.” Then he looked back out the window. “You know, when you get incoming, you’ve got to know where it’s coming from,” said Worth, who identified himself as a Marine Corps veteran.
A neighbor Worth knows as Andre was standing in the middle of the street, Worth said, adding he saw the man’s hands jerking from the recoil of firing a silver handgun.
Worth said the man appeared to have fired at a small white car being driven by another neighbor, “an older white gentleman,” who lives across from Worth. He said the shooting happened on the edge of a cul-de-sac where they all live.
Worth said he first thought he was witnessing a road rage confrontation, but said the man moved deliberately. “He didn’t appear angry, upset, agitated,” Worth said.
Worth said Longmore appeared to evaluate whether he needed to shoot again and then “started walking casually” toward the entrance to the subdivision, before adopting a “brisk stride.” Worth said he ran upstairs, watching Longmore disappear behind some trees as he called police.
Worth said he heard no more gunshots after that. Police said that after the shooting, Longmore fled in a black GMC Acadia SUV and was being sought.
Hampton Police Chief James Turner told reporters Saturday that detectives were investigating at least four crime scenes in Dogwood Lakes, where at least three police cars remained present Sunday, limiting access.
Police did not immediately identify the victims.
Public records show Longmore lived in the neighborhood, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of downtown Atlanta, where about 40 houses on two streets flank a lake.
Ron Foster, who lives on the main road outside the subdivision entrance, said Longmore drove through his yard and his neighbor’s yard, destroying multiple ornamental windmills and leaving tire tracks still visible in the grass a day later. Foster was inside his house and heard the crunch of metal of the destroyed windmills.
“What was going through that man’s mind after he did all he done?” Foster wondered. “It was unreal.”
Foster didn’t know at the time that multiple people had been shot, but said he got a call from a friend who is a retired police officer.
“He called me and said ‘Ron, y’all stay in or go somewhere,’” Foster said “We did.”
On Sunday, people took precautions while Longmore was at large.
At the neighboring First Baptist Church of Hampton, members of the security team were approaching unfamiliar cars in the parking lot and keeping doors locked during Sunday services.
Hampton is home to the Atlanta Motor Speedway, Georgia’s racetrack for NASCAR events. The town of 8,500 people also has benefited from Georgia’s movie production boom.
The shootings marked the 31st mass killing of 2023, taking the lives of at least 153 people this year, according to a database maintained by The AP and USA Today in a partnership with Northeastern University.
Murphy reported from Indianapolis.