Suspect dead in Georgia police shooting

Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-08 17:33:47-05

161207144235-georgia-police-exlarge-teaseA man who fatally shot a police officer in southwest Georgia and critically wounded another one apparently killed himself Thursday morning, police said.

The shootings occurred Wednesday at an apartment complex in Americus, prompting a manhunt and causing nearby Georgia Southwestern State University to tell students to take shelter for most of the day.

Americus police Officer Nicholas Ryan Smarr, 25, was killed while answering a call about a domestic dispute at the complex, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

The other officer, Jody Smith, works for the university in the town some 138 miles south of Atlanta. He remained in critical condition Thursday.

The GBI identified the suspect as Minquell Kennedy Lembrick, though a search of public records shows variants of his first name.

He was at large until Thursday morning when a caller told police Lembrick was in a local house. First responders heard a gunshot, and a SWAT team found Lembrick’s body with a single gunshot wound inside. No one else was in the home.

A reward that grew to $70,000 had been offered for information leading to Lembrick’s arrest, the GBI said.

The caller knew who Lembrick was and was there when he arrived at the house. Police said the caller, who left the house to phone authorities, should be eligible for the reward.

GBI Director Vernon Keenan called Lembrick a career criminal who “wreaked havoc on this community.”

Smarr and Smith were longtime friends, Americus police Chief Mark Scott said. “They are model officers. They’re both heroes in my opinion,” he said. “My heart goes out to their families.”