A police officer was killed and a campus officer was critically wounded Wednesday morning in a shooting near Georgia Southwestern State University, authorities said.
The gunman escaped and was considered extremely dangerous.
Rewards totaling $30,000 were offered and a massive manhunt involving scores of state and local officers was under way Wednesday evening for Minquell Kennedy Lembrick, 32.
He was described as being 6 feet, 2 inches tall and weighing 170 pounds.
Authorities say Lembrick fatally shot Americus police Officer Nicholas Ryan Smarr and wounded university police Officer Jodi Smith at an apartment complex at about 9:40 a.m. ET near the campus in Americus, which is in Sumter County about halfway between Columbus and Albany.
Smarr, 25, was responding to a call for a domestic disturbance when he was shot, police said. Smith, who was providing backup, was flown by medical helicopter to a trauma center in Macon, where he was in critical condition, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
The university, where students had been streaming out after final exams concluded Tuesday, remained on lockdown Wednesday as officers made a painstaking building-by-building safety check. No students were injured, the university said.
Americus Police Chief Mark Scott said it wasn’t known whether the gunman was wounded in the exchange of gunfire. He said Lembrick, who has an active warrant on kidnapping and other charges in connection with a previous domestic dispute, is armed and shouldn’t be approached.
Scott refused to comment on media reports that, shortly after the shooting, a Facebook account was created under the name “Minguell Gstreet Lembrick,” which posted a video of a man saying, “I’m gonna miss y’all folks, man,” accompanying posts saying he didn’t plan to be taken alive.
The account, whose authenticity NBC News hasn’t verified, was quickly deleted.
“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families,” Scott said. “This is a devastating loss to our family here in Americus. It’s just unbelievable.”
State prison records show that Lembrick has several previous convictions, including one in 2003 for false imprisonment. Details of the case, for which he was sentenced to five years in prison, weren’t immediately available.