Black Lives Matter Groups Have Promoted Killing Police. Now Sick People Around The Country Are Taking It To Heart.
VALDOSTA – Police say a Georgia police officer and his assailant should survive a shootout that began with an ambush only hours after a sniper in Dallas killed five officers and wounded seven more.
Stephen Beck, a 22-year-old recovering drug addict, is accused of calling 911 to lure police to his apartment complex in Valdosta and then opening fire.
Officer Randall Hancock’s protective vest took some of the bullets, but he was hit once just below it, in the abdomen, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman Scott Dutton said.
It’s been a tense week between white police officers and black civilians. In this case, the suspect is Asian, and the officer is white.
Dutton said there’s no evidence to support a connection with the shootings in Dallas. Investigators are looking into whether Beck might be angry at police in general, but Dutton said “there’s nothing that indicates he’s got that type of an issue.”
Beck shot Hancock multiple times after making a 911 call about a car break-in outside the Three Oaks Apartments just after 8 a.m. Friday, Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress said at a news conference.
Hancock underwent surgery at a local hospital and was stable Friday as he rested with his family by his side, the chief said. The suspect was also considered stable, he said.
“I’m relieved that my officer is fine,” Childress said. “I am also equally relieved that the offender is going to make it.”
The police chief said Hancock was wearing a body camera, and its video footage had been turned over to the GBI.
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A press release from GBI reads:
On Friday, July 08, 2016, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Valdosta Police Department to investigate an officer involved shooting incident that occurred at Three Oaks Apartments in Valdosta.
Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 7:54 AM, Valdosta Police Officer Randall Hancock was dispatched to the apartment complex regarding a vehicle break-in and damage to property call. The caller, identified as Stephen Beck, age 22, reported that his car had been broken into and needed police to respond. At approximately 8:12 AM, Officer Hancock arrived at the apartment complex. Upon exiting his patrol car, Officer Hancock was fired upon, striking him at least twice in his protective vest and once beneath the vest in the abdomen area. Officer Hancock returned fire, striking the individual and stopping him from firing at him. The individual was unknown to Officer Hancock at the time of the encounter and it was later determined the individual was Beck, the 911 caller.
Officer Hancock was taken to an area hospital where he was treated and is in stable condition. Beck was also transported to an area hospital where he remains in serious condition. The investigation is ongoing as agents are looking for a 2009 silver Nissan Sentra, Georgia Tag PVW 8141, belonging to Beck. Anyone with information about the location of the vehicle is asked to call the Valdosta Police Department at 229-293-3145 or the Thomasville GBI Regional Office at 229-225-4090.
The motive behind the shooting is unknown at this time. There is no indication of a connection to the police shootings in Dallas, Texas.
The GBI will conduct an independent investigation to determine what occurred during the incident. When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the District Attorney’s Office for review.