Paramedic & police officers shot in gun battle
LUMPKIN, Ga. (AP) -- The police chief, a county deputy and a paramedic were wounded during a shootout in this small town's courthouse square Thursday and the suspected gunman was killed during an ensuing gunbattle, authorities said.
The police chief in a nearby town also was wounded during the pursuit of the suspect.
The most seriously injured was the paramedic, who was shot in the leg after arriving at the scene to help the wounded officers, said John Bankhead, a spokesman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The officers' injuries were not considered life-threatening.
Two people were taken into custody, but a third who fired at officers with a semi-automatic pistol was shot and killed by police, Bankhead said.
The gunfire began about 2 a.m. when officers responded to a report of shots fired outside the Stewart County Courthouse in Lumpkin, a town of about 1,300 people near the Alabama border and 115 miles southwest of Atlanta.
The episode may have started with an argument between the shooter and some family members, Bankhead said.
Lumpkin Police Chief Jay Stripling and Stewart County Deputy Clinton Rivers were both shot in the face by a man firing from the courthouse steps, Bankhead said.
The suspect then fled the scene.
A few hours later, after more than 50 officers and a police helicopter swarmed the area, officers confronted three suspects a few blocks from the courthouse. One of the men, identified as Marcus Dwayne Dalton, 26, fired at officers with a 9mm pistol, striking Plains Police Chief Henry Brown.
Officers returned fire and killed Dalton, Bankhead said. The other two men with Dalton were taken in for questioning.
During the second shootout, a deputy was struck in his gun belt by a bullet, but was not injured.
Kimberly Daniels, 28, watched in horror as guns fired just a few feet away as she returned home after working the night shift at a factory.
''There were a line of police cars,'' Daniels said. ''I saw a lot of police with guns on their shoulders. I was frightened. I didn't know what was going on.''
The injured paramedic, Vance Streeter, underwent surgery and his condition was not immediately known, said Michelle Slaughter, Stewart County Sheriff's dispatcher.
Stripling's jawbone was broken by a bullet and Rivers was shot in the eye, Slaughter said.