UPDATE: Suspect in Murray County SWAT standoff allegedly shot and killed wife before shooting himself

UPDATE: Suspect in Murray County SWAT standoff allegedly shot and killed wife before shooting himself

September 25th, 2017 by Tyler Jett and Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

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UPDATE: The suspect in Monday afternoon's SWAT standoff is in custody and has been taken to a local hospital for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, a spokesperson for the Murray County Sheriff's Office said.

The suspect's identity has not yet been released, and he is in critical condition, MCSO Chief Deputy Brian Ingle said. He has been arrested for murder.

Ingle said a shots fired call came in just before 10 a.m. at a home near the intersection of Leonard Bridge Road and Highland Way. 

A woman, said to be the suspect's wife, was found suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest, Ingle said. She was taken to a local hospital where she died shortly after.

He said investigators obtained information that the suspect had fled the scene and barricaded himself in a home on the 100 block of Holly Creek Drive.

Ingle said police tried to talk to him and called negotiators to persuade him to come out. When that didn't work, he said Georgia State Patrol SWAT team was called and also tried to negotiate with the suspect.

"That failed, and that's when they introduced [tear] gas to try to get him to surrender," Ingle said.

But the suspect still did not comply, he said. After about an hour, officials heard gunshots in the residency. The suspect then walked out with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

"He was able to walk but is in critical condition due to the nature of the wound," Ingle said.

The GSP, Chattsworth Police Department and Georgia Bureau of Investigation are also investigating the incident.

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UPDATE: School Superintendent Eric McFee says the lockdown was lifted at 12:30 this afternoon.

The SWAT incident had nothing to do with the schools and the officers were merely looking for a suspect near the schools. The lockdown began around 10 a.m., McFee said, when the sheriff alerted him about an incident near Coker and Spring Place Elementary Schools, located on Leonard Bridge Road in Chatsworth.

For about 30 minutes, students and teachers could not leave their classrooms. Around 10:30 a.m., McFee said, the sheriff told him the SWAT standoff had moved away from the area. For about two more hours, the elementary schools were on a "soft lockdown," meaning nobody could come in or out of the buildings — however, staff and students could move from room to room on the inside.

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ORIGINAL STORY: A Georgia State Patrol SWAT unit has responded to an incident in Murray County, a spokeswoman for the agency confirmed this afternoon.

The spokeswoman said she could not provide details on the incident because the Murray County Sheriff's Office is the lead agency. Sheriff Gary Langford and Chief Deputy Brian Ingle have not immediately returned calls seeking comment.

A WTVC reporter Tweeted a screenshot from a Murray County Schools online post at 10:15 a.m., explaining that Coker Elementary and Spring Place Elementary schools were on a soft lockdown, meaning no one could enter or exit the buildings. As of 1 p.m., no such screenshot is on the school system's Twitter or Facebook pages. It's not clear if a schools employee took down the messages; Superintendent Eric McFee did not immediately return a call seeking comment today.

Tyler Bishop, a citizen reporter who monitors 911 scanner traffic, Tweeted at 11 a.m. that a GSP SWAT team drove to the schools in Armored Trucks and Humvees. He has not Tweeted any updates since then.

Coker Elementary and Spring Place Elementary are located in Chatsworth in the 1700 and 2700 blocks of Leonard Bridge Road.


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