KATHLEEN — A feud between two men escalated early Saturday morning into shootings about two miles apart, including a suspect being shot by a Houston County sheriff’s deputy, police said.
The GBI released names and additional information Sunday about the incidents Saturday at a Kathleen home and a Bonaire home.
Christopher “Chris” Rodriguez, 20, of 137 Solomon Road in Kathleen, was in stable condition late Sunday at The Medical Center of Central Georgia after he pointed a handgun Saturday at a sheriff’s deputy and was shot once in the chest and once in the arm, said Craig Rotter, assistant special agent in charge of the GBI office in Perry.
Rodriguez, who had been in critical condition earlier Sunday in the intensive care unit, was moved into a regular hospital room Sunday night after his condition improved, Rotter said.
Early Saturday, Houston County sheriff’s deputy John Burgess, 25, who has been with the sheriff’s office for two years, fired three rounds from his service weapon after Rodriguez pulled back a towel covering the window of the Solomon Road home and had a handgun pointed at the deputy, Rotter said. The shooting was at 2:20 a.m.
One of the rounds from the deputy’s gun struck Kala Wimberly, 20, in the back. She is the live-in girlfriend of Rodriguez, Rotter said. Wimberly was standing on a chair looking out a window to see what was going on when she was shot, Rotter said. Wimberly was also taken to the Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, Rotter said. She was released from the hospital Sunday night, he said.
Arrest warrants have been issued for aggravated assault on a police officer for Rodriguez, which will be served upon his release from the hospital, Rotter said. Rodriguez also faces three other aggravated assault charges for earlier shooting at three people in a home on Walnut Ridge Drive in Bonaire, Rotter said. Burgess and another sheriff’s deputy arrived at the home of Rodriguez after two earlier incidents at the Walnut Ridge Drive home.
The first 911 call came in at 1:56 a.m. from the Walnut Ridge Drive home. Rodriguez apparently had a long-standing dispute with John “Rusty” Allison, 20, of 101 Walnut Ridge Drive, Rotter said.
Rodriguez and two of his friends, Aasin Raffield, 22, of Kathleen, and Lane McLemore, 20, of Warner Robins, are accused of driving over to the Walnut Ridge Drive residence and opening fire, Rotter said. Allison escaped in a truck and returned home shortly after the incident. Rodriguez, Raffield and McLemore allegedly came back, opening fire on the residence from inside a car.
Brandon Evans, 35, of Bonaire, was shot in the abdomen. He was taken to the Medical Center on Saturday, where he was treated and then released Sunday, Rotter said.
Allison, who was punched in the face in the first incident before fleeing and who may also have been grazed by bullet, was taken to the Medical Center and treated and released Saturday.
Raffield and McLemore both were charged with three counts of aggravated assault, Rotter said. Raffield and McLemore were being held Sunday at the Houston County jail.
The first incident and second incident at the Walnut Ridge Drive home were close together.
The GBI was asked to investigate because of the deputy-involved shooting in order to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, Houston County Sheriff Cullen Talton said.
The GBI findings will be forwarded to the Houston County District Attorney’s Office, Rotter said.
To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.