One of the men who led Carroll County law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase Monday ambushed two Carroll lawmen moments before one of the deputies fatally shot him.
Dramatic dashcam video released Wednesday shows deputies Jamison Troutt and Jay Repetto pull up to a Villa Rica Police vehicle stopped along Whitworth Road. As they do so, a man armed with a rifle suddenly appears, his figure emerging in front of the parked patrol car’s bright, flashing blue lights.
The video clearly shows the gunman as he levels a high-powered weapon GBI agents have identified as an AK-47 and opens fire at the deputies’ car. The first shot cripples the vehicle, shutting off its electrical system. As the gunman advances, another burst of fire pierces the windscreen directly in front of where the deputies were sitting.
At a news conference held by the Sheriff’s Office on Wednesday to release the video, spokesperson Ashley Hulsey said that Repetto, although wounded, and Troutt, covered in shattered glass, returned fire as the gunman retreated in front of the vehicle before collapsing from his wounds. The man, later identified as Pier Alexander Shelton of Birmingham, died at the scene.
The startling images were released, Sheriff Terry Langley told reporters, to demonstrate how dangerous Monday morning’s incident was and to show the heroic actions taken by not only the deputies, but all the law enforcement officers who responded.
The Villa Rica Police vehicle at the scene belonged to Chase Gordy, who had been shot moments before. Unknown to the deputies at the time, Gordy was lying wounded nearby.
A short distance away, down Highway 61, Carrollton Police Sgt. Rob Holloway had been wounded by gunfire, causing him to lose control of his vehicle and strike a utility pole.
Earlier, a state trooper had been the first to be fired upon, but he escaped injury.
The fusillade of bullets that ended with Shelton’s death took place in a residential area, Langley said, directly in front of the home of two elderly women whom Langley said had been terrified by the gunfire outside and remain traumatized by the incident.
Shelton’s cousin, Aaron Jajuan Shelton of Center Point, Alabama, allegedly accompanied Pier Shelton during the incident. He was arrested Monday and remains in Carroll County Jail with multiple felony counts, including three counts of assault and battery and five charges of aggravated assault.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is overseeing the case since it involves an officer-involved shooting. Agents have released few details of the incident, but local authorities have been carefully releasing some details of Monday’s early morning events.
According to those statements, the incident began at 3:30 a.m. Monday when a state trooper monitoring eastbound traffic on Interstate 20 clocked a Nissan Sentra going at 111 mph. The trooper pulled over the vehicle near the Bremen exit, but it then sped away and the trooper went in pursuit.
During that chase, the passenger in the Nissan began firing at the trooper’s car with a high-powered weapon, disabling it. The trooper radioed other officers, reporting that those in the car were heavily armed and warning the officers that they may have to use deadly force to take them into custody.
A network of cameras on Adamson Square in Carrollton alerted Carrollton Police that the Nissan was in the city. Police officers, joined by Carroll County deputies, took up the pursuit, which headed north along Highway 61.
Deputy Troutt was following Carrollton Police units when, according to a sheriff’s office press release, he heard and saw gunfire from the Nissan strike the patrol car driven by CPD’s Holloway. Holloway lost control of his vehicle near the Highway 61/166 “triangle” and crashed into a utility pole.
As some units stopped to help Holloway, others, including Troutt, continued the pursuit up Highway 61.
Near the intersection of Whitworth Road, the driver of the Nissan apparently lost control of the vehicle and crashed. The two people inside fled into the darkness, and law officers began to seal off the area to launch a manhunt.
During Wednesday’s news conference, Hulsey described the events recorded on Troutt’s patrol car dashcam.
After the suspects’ vehicle crashed, Troutt and Repetto stationed themselves on Highway 61 to keep cars from entering the dangerous area. As they were outside, they heard gunfire. It was at this time that VRPD officer Gordy was shot and wounded on Whitworth Road.
The dashcam footage shows the deputies get into the vehicle and quickly start to drive a short distance down Whitworth. The dashcam shows Gordy’s patrol car pulled to the left side of the road, its blue lights flashing.
At that point, Hulsey said, the deputies heard over the radio that an officer was down at the elementary school. Ithica Elementary School is located on Whitworth Road. The deputies then decide to move farther down the road to look for the wounded policeman.
The dashcam shows that as they pull beside Gordy’s patrol car, a figure suddenly appears to their left, walking in front of the bright lights of the parked police vehicle. Because of the lights, the deputies do not see the figure until he is right in front of their car.
The man is holding an AK-47 and he fires at the deputies’ car. The interior of the vehicle goes dark as the patrol car is disabled, and then the man fires again. At that point, the video shows, there are several gunshots heard as both Troutt and Repetto return fire. The gunman retreats in front of the deputies’ car, crouching as he goes. Shortly afterward, he died at the scene.
Because no one knew where the other suspect was, or whether he was armed, it was not safe to send an ambulance to Gordy, who was lying wounded near his vehicle. Nevertheless, according to law enforcement sources, other officers mounted a rescue operation to enter the area and take Gordy to a waiting air ambulance.
Aaron Shelton was taken into custody after what authorities described as a negotiation.
Hulsey, herself a former sheriff’s deputy, said that watching the dashcam footing “sent chills up my spine,” because she knows all the deputies on the force.
Langley, a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, said that this incident “shook me to the core.”
“But also, we’ve had many people in that neighborhood we’ve had to console and going out to see today,” the sheriff said. “In this business, you have a lot of tragedy but this one has really touched the community as well as the department. So, we’re in the process of checking everybody out even after they heal from their wounds, making sure everybody’s healed from their emotional status as well.”
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