DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — Two police officers were shot in a gun battle Friday morning near the eastern edge of Atlanta, leaving one suspect hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.
A second suspect was captured late Friday morning after an hourslong search involving dozens of officers, police dogs and helicopters.
Both officers were taken to hospitals with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries, DeKalb County police Capt. Stephen Fore said. One officer was shot in the thigh and the other in the calf, he said.
Cedric Alexander, a top police official in DeKalb County, says an AK-47 rifle was fired at 26-year-old Officer Tony Luong and 29-year-old Devon Perry. Alexander said it was “only by the grace of God” that the shootout wasn’t more serious.
Fore said police believe everyone involved in the gunfight is in custody but are still investigating whether the two suspects may have had accomplices.
The gunfire and manhunt began around 6:45 a.m. Friday, when police responded to a report of a home invasion in an apartment complex, Fore said.
“They were immediately fired upon,” Fore said.
At least one and possibly two of the officers shot back, and a suspect was wounded, Fore said. That suspect was in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Fore said.
Police spent much of the morning searching for a second suspect. They were using police dogs in an attempt to track that suspect on the ground as police helicopters circled in the sky.
That suspect was captured late Friday morning, Fore said. He did not immediately have details on the arrest or any charges.
Dozens of police cars had swarmed the DeKalb County neighborhood, where several roads were closed after the Friday morning gunfire near Interstate 285.
Four nearby schools had been placed on lockdowns at the request of police: Towers and Columbia highs schools; Snapfinger Elementary; and DeKalb Preparatory Academy, DeKalb County Schools spokesman Quinn Hudson said.
Jeremiah Bennett, 23, said he lives in the apartment complex where the shooting apparently happened.
“I woke up and heard a bunch of gunshots,” he said.
He didn’t look outside for fear of being caught in a firefight.
Bennett said he heard three bursts of gunfire, with each burst containing five or six shots.
He said there’s been gunfire in the apartment complex before. “It’s normal,” he said. “I’m moving next month. This is the last of it.”
Detectives were still trying to sort out exactly what happened during the initial shootout involving the two officers, who Fore said were taken to Atlanta Medical Center. Police haven’t released names of the wounded officers or the suspect.
Spokeswomen at Atlanta Medical and at Grady said they could not comment.