Police officers rush to the area after a man shot four people in a building in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 3, 2023. One person was killed and three were injured in the southern US city of Atlanta on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire inside a building, police said, in the latest gun violence to hit the country. (File photo: AFP)

US police kill suspect behind four Georgia deaths, three officers wounded

Police officers rush to the area after a man shot four people in a building in Atlanta, Georgia, on May 3, 2023. One person was killed and three were injured in the southern US city of Atlanta on Wednesday when a gunman opened fire inside a building, police said, in the latest gun violence to hit the country. (File photo: AFP)

Officers on Sunday shot and killed a man wanted in four weekend killings near Atlanta during an exchange of gunfire, with a sheriff’s deputy and a police officer wounded while trying to take the suspect into custody, authorities said.

Officials said Andre Longmore was shot during an intense manhunt for the 40-year-old suspect. The exchange of gunfire came a day after Saturday morning’s shootings rocked a bucolic subdivision in Hampton, south of Georgia’s main city.

Officials said Longmore was killed about 15 miles (25 kilometers) to the north of Hampton in suburban Jonesboro. A Henry County sheriff’s deputy and two Clayton County police officer were injured at separate locations in the attempt to arrest Longmore, they said.

One officer was shot in the back and was taken by helicopter to an Atlanta trauma center, Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett said. “He is conscious, breathing and talking at this time,” Scandrett said of that officer.

Details on the conditions of the other two wounded officers weren’t immediately made public

Hampton Police Chief James Turner said the four killed Saturday were all residents of the same Dogwood Lakes neighborhood where Longmore lived, and were all were shot within a 10-minute span.

He identified the victims as 67-year old Scott Leavitt and his wife, 66-year old Shirley Leavitt, as well as 65-year-old Steve Blizzard and 66-year-old Ronald Jeffers.

Sherry Wyatt, who works at Hampton’s recreation center near Jeffers’ home, said Jeffers would regularly come in to sing at the senior center that shares the building. A few months ago, Jeffers came over to her side of the building to practice and she told him how beautiful was his voice.

“I’m just so glad I told him he sang like an angel,” said Wyatt, adding her heart was heavy Sunday over his death. “I know he is in heaven now singing.”

A relative of Blizzard didn’t immediately respond to a Facebook message.

Authorities had been seeking to arrest Longmore on four murder warrants for the deaths. Turner said the motive remained under investigation.

On Sunday, neighbor Frankie Worth told The Associated Press he heard a gunshot Saturday morning as he was reaching for his living room window to open the blinds and see how much yard work he had to do.

Worth said he ducked “just for a second” and then looked back out the window. “You know, when you get incoming, you’ve got to know where it’s coming from,” said Worth, who identified himself as a Marine Corps veteran.

Longmore, who Worth knew only as Andre, was standing in the middle of the street. Worth said he saw the man’s hands jerking from the recoil of firing a silver handgun.

Worth said the man appeared to have fired at a small white car being driven by another neighbor, “an older white gentleman.” He said the shooting happened on the edge of a cul-de-sac where they all live. Worth said he first thought there’d been a road rage confrontation, but said the man moved deliberately. “He didn’t appear angry, upset, agitated,” Worth said.

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