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What started as a domestic incident turned deadly Saturday morning when a handcuffed suspect, who was alone in a patrol car, managed to get through a partition and into the front seat and drive toward a deputy and another man. He was shot after disobeying orders to stop, according to law enforcement.


Jessica Gallagher/Times-Georgian

A suspect was shot and killed Saturday after he managed to get into the front seat of a patrol car and began driving toward deputies, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said preliminary information from Carroll County authorities indicates that at approximately 10:21 a.m. Saturday, the Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call regarding a dispute between Jessie Thedford, 32, and his landlord at 217 B Littleriver Road off Highway 27 North in Carrollton.

“Upon arrival, a deputy made contact with Thedford who was not cooperative or compliant and was detained,” according to a statement from the GBI. “A second deputy arrived on scene and Thedford was searched and a substance suspected to be methamphetamine was discovered on him. Thedford was placed under arrest, handcuffed, and placed in the back of a patrol car. At some point, Thedford moved his hands in front of him, slipped through the partition into the driver’s seat, and proceeded to drive toward deputies and the landlord. Deputies gave verbal commands to stop, but he did not comply.”

One deputy fired his service weapon into the patrol car, striking Thedford.

Thedford was taken to Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton where he later died. An autopsy will be performed at the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur on Monday.

No officers were injured during the incident.

 Because one of its officers was involved in the shooting, the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to investigate.

Sam Gentry, who lives near the neighborhood where shooting happened, was working in his vineyard Saturday morning when his wife came running toward him saying she had heard three gunshots. Gentry said the shots probably came from a nearby gun club, but his wife told him she also heard someone yelling “Help.”

“We’ve had trouble with people shooting guns up there,” Gentry said, referring to the neighborhood where the shooting took place. “It creates quite a discomfort for us to be this close to home.”

The GBI will continue its independent investigation.  Once completed, the case will be turned over to the Coweta Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.


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