A gunman fatally shot a Georgia deputy and critically wounded another after threatening to kill his neighbors on Sunday, authorities said.
Suspected shooter Ralph Stanley Elrod opened fire and struck two Peach County deputies walking toward his home around 5:30 p.m. near Byron, according to Peach County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies Patrick Sondron, 41, and Daryl Smallwood were just 15 yards from their cruiser, revealed Georgia Bureau of Investigations Special Agent J.T. Ricketson at a press conference.
“They both went down right there,” Ricketson said, describing the gun attack.
The neighbors initially called police after the suspect threatened them for riding up and down a road on a four-wheeler and motorcycle, Ricketson said.
Peach County Sheriff Terry Reese described the threatened neighbors as children but their ages were not immediately available.
The neighbors called back to report the deadly shooting.
Coroner Kerry Rooks confirmed Sondron, a 12-year veteran of the force, was killed in the shooting. The second shot deputy, Smallwood, remains hospitalized in critical condition, according to the Macon Telegraph.
“The deputies didn’t have a chance tonight,” Deese said.
One resident said he heard a barrage of at least 50 to 75 gunshots as several law enforcement agencies swarmed the Byron property about 15 miles southwest of Macon.
“We figured it was an accident,” he told WMAZ-TV. “We heard screaming and gunshots simultaneously,”
Elrod is in custody and being treated at a nearby hospital after being struck with at least one bullet fired by a Byron police officer that rushed to help, according to the Macon television station.