The Victims: Early Monday morning tragedy struck a neighborhood in Americus, Georgia. Two officers were responding to a domestic dispute near Georgia Southwestern State University. It is reported that officer Nicholas Ryan was shot and killed at the scene. The other officer, Jody Smith was airlifted and is said to be in critical condition.
The Suspect: The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) has identified convicted felon Minquell Kennedy Lembrick as the shooter. Several days after the shooting Lembrick was still at large. Originally there was a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of Lembrick. However, other agencies had raised money to increase the reward to $70,000. The Sheriff’s Office was hoping this reward money would motivate individuals who may have had information regarding the shooting. Lembrick was said to be armed and dangerous.
The police received a tip Thursday that Lembrick had come to their house that morning. The tipster claims that they left their home and immediately called the police. SWAT teams immediately surrounded the home and cleared the area of nearby residents. A responder at the scene heard a loud bang, which was believed to be a gunshot. After an hour of attempted hostage negotiations, the team had a robot breach the door. Once inside they found a body with a self-inflicted gunshot wound, which officials believe is Lembrick.
Criminal History of Shooter: At the time of the shooting, Lembrick had an outstanding arrest warrant for kidnapping in addition to other counts. Within an hour of the police shooting, authorities found posts on Lembrick’s Facebook page insinuating he did not want to be taken alive. In addition, they also found a live Facebook video of a man masked by a shadow saying, “I’m going to miss y’all”.
Domestic Violence Disputes: Domestic disputes like the one police responded to in this incident are very common in Georgia. According to a report, 131 individuals were killed in Georgia due to domestic violence in 2012. An additional 116 individuals lost their lives to domestic violence in Georgia in 2013. Although the number has slightly decreased, it is still overwhelmingly high. Police need to crack down and take action to ensure this number continues to decrease over time.
San Diego Domestic Violence Stats: According to the California Department of Justice, San Diego County receives the highest numbers of calls in state reporting domestic violence each year. In 2014, San Diego County received 16,897 reports of domestic violence to law enforcement, which was 2% higher than the previous year. In addition to the 16,897 reports of domestic violence in 2014, 16 of those were domestic violence homicides. It was also noted that of the domestic violence cases reported to law enforcement, 37% had children present. Looking at the 10 largest counties in California, San Diego County is ranked number two for the overwhelmingly high number of domestic violence calls. For this reason, San Diego has a team of 19 officers specifically dedicated to domestic violence calls.
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