Americus police officer Nicholas Ryan Smarr died after he and another officer were shot Wednesday morning while answering a 911 call about a domestic dispute.
Smarr, 25, and Jody Smith, a campus police officer for Georgia Southwestern State University, both responded to the call, which came about 9:40 a.m. from an apartment complex on South Lee Street.
There, the lawmen encountered 32-year-old Minguell K. Lembrick, and shots were fired, according to a news release from the GBI. Both officers were wounded.
Smarr, who’d joined the department in 2012, later died. Smith was flown by helicopter to the Medical Center, Navicent Health, in Macon where he was in critical condition Wednesday evening, officials said.
Smarr’s body was set for an autopsy on Thursday at the GBI crime lab in Macon.
“He will be escorted by the Georgia State Patrol and other law enforcement officers as an honor guard,” GBI director Vernon Keenan said in a news conference that was livestreamed online by news outlets.
Lembrick remained at large Wednesday night as a manhunt ensued.
A $30,000 reward was being offered for information leading to Lembrick’s arrest.
“This is a very dangerous individual,” Keenan said. “We need to have him off the streets. We want him arrested so that he can face the courts.”
‘Not going to jail’
Lembrick is no stranger to law enforcement.
In 2003, he was convicted of false imprisonment, simple battery and criminal trespassing in Sumter County, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections website. He had an active warrant for kidnapping and other charges at the time of the shooting, officials told reporters.
Sumter sheriff’s administrative assistant Dianne Brown said Lembrick had been jailed there at least four times since 2009 on charges that include battery and aggravated stalking.
Lembrick also was convicted in Laurens County in 2009 on a charge of interference with government property.
Authorities did not say publicly what may have prompted the shootings in Americus on Wednesday.
About 10 minutes before the officers were shot, a Facebook account for “Minguell GStreet Lembrick” posted, “Love ya, Nikki brown. I tried to stay out to get ya (expletive) happen...other life gone not going to jail.”
A woman and child were at the apartments when the policemen arrived, officials said at the news conference.
An hour later, someone on the Facebook account who appeared to be Lembrick, went live on for four seconds and recorded a video clip.
“I’m gonna miss y’all folks, man,” the person in the video said.
Within two hours, the video had been viewed more than 18,000 times. However, it was removed early in the afternoon.
The college campus remained on lockdown for much of the day.
About 5:30 p.m., the college announced on Twitter that students and faculty would be released building by building and officers would be stationed in every residence hall.
Students were allowed to leave the residence halls only if they were traveling out of town. The college Tweeted that it would be ordering pizza for the students who stayed.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the first name of Minguell Lembrick.