Alleged Ga. cop killer found dead

Minguell Lembrick was suspected of shooting and killing a Ga. officer and critically wounding another

Associated Press

AMERICUS, Ga. — A man suspected of fatally shooting a Georgia police officer and wounding another is dead, authorities said Thursday after a SWAT team stormed a home where a tipster had told police the suspect was hiding.

The manhunt for 32-year-old Minquell Lembrick ended a day after a gunman killed Americus police Officer Nicholas Smarr and critically wounded Officer Jody Smith of Georgia Southwestern State University. Both officers were shot as they responded to a domestic disturbance call in this rural city 130 miles south of Atlanta.

This undated photo released by the Americus Police Department shows Minguell Lembrick.
This undated photo released by the Americus Police Department shows Minguell Lembrick. (Americus Police Department via AP)

Police identified Lembrick as a suspect in the shootings and offered a $70,000 reward for information leading to his capture. The SWAT team was dispatched to the house in Americus after authorities received a tip, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles.

SWAT officers emerged from the home a short time after entering, and police said the manhunt was over.

"It's confirmed that the suspect is dead," Americus police spokeswoman Phyllis Banks told The Associated Press.

She gave no further details, including whether police shot Lembrick or found him dead. Americus Police Chief Mark Scott planned a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Scott said Wednesday that Lembrick had an outstanding arrest warrant charging him with kidnapping and other counts when the two officers encountered him at an apartment complex where a domestic dispute had been reported. But officers didn't know whom they were dealing with when they responded to the 911 call.

After the shootings, Smith was airlifted to a hospital in Macon with critical injuries. Banks said Thursday morning the wounded officer remained in critical condition after undergoing surgery.

Authorities initially gave different spellings for the first names of both Smith and Lembrick, but said Thursday that they had confirmed corrected spellings for each.

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