Decatur County deputy dies following Saturday shooting
DECATUR COUNTY, Ga. (WCTV) - The Decatur County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was in critical condition after an officer-involved shooting on Saturday has died.
According to DCSO Sheriff Wiley Griffin, Captain Justin Bedwell died after he was taken to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare for treatment. He served with the agency for 19 years.
Sheriff Griffin posted the following statement to the DCSO Facebook page:
“Sheriff Wiley Griffin is deeply saddened to announce to the community the passing of Lieutenant Justin Bedwell. Lieutenant Bedwell succumbed to injuries that were sustained in the line of duty, Saturday, February 27, 2021 in Brinson, GA, while assisting Seminole County Sheriff’s Office in a high-speed chase where shots had been fired at Sheriff’s Deputies. Lieutenant Bedwell is a 19-year veteran of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office. Lieutenant Bedwell is a Patrol Commander, Training Officer and a highly valued member of the Command Staff. He trained many of the younger deputies that currently work for this community. Lieutenant Bedwell will be truly missed and we are devastated by his passing. Please continue to pray for Lieutenant Bedwell’s family, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office and our community.”
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also released a statement on Bedwell’s death.
“On behalf of all Georgians, the Kemp Family sends our heartfelt prayers to Lt. Bedwell’s family, loved ones, and fellow officers in light of this heartbreaking news,” says Kemp. “His heroic sacrifice and dedicated service will not be forgotten.”
Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell says it’s hard seeing a fellow law enforcement officer die in the line of duty.
“Today, our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of Lieutenant Justin Bedwell. Every time we step out, we know there’s a chance we might not make it home,” says Revell. “May Lieutenant Bedwell rest well knowing that he chose a career of service and made the ultimate sacrifice. The Tallahassee Police Department is praying for healing for those affected by this loss.”
Wade Phillips and Troy Phillips face the following charges, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation:
- Felony murder
- Aggravated assault of a peace officer
- Party to the crime of murder
- Attempted home invasion
- Aggravated assault, two counts
- Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon
- Possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime
You can read WCTV’s original story on the shooting below.
As of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, DCSO Sheriff Wiley Griffin says the suspect has been apprehended.
After fleeing into a wooded area, one of the men, Wade Phillips, was captured. He followed deputies orders and did not resist the arrest.
Both suspects are now in custody.
Following a brief manhunt, Troy Arthur Phillips, who was armed with a high-powered rifle and a bullet-proof vest, was also taken into custody.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is investigating this shooting as well.
According to the GBI, information indicates that a Seminole County deputy was attempting to conduct a traffic stop on two suspects, one later identified as Troy Arthur Phillips, driving in a white 2500 Chevrolet pickup truck with a Florida tag for reckless driving.
The men refused to stop and a chase ensued. A second deputy joined the pursuit and the suspects began to fire a weapon from the truck in the direction of Seminole County deputies. Seminole County deputies returned fire.
The deputies continued the chase into Decatur County, where additional DCSO deputies joined the pursuit.
The suspects drove into the driveway of a Decatur County residence and attempted to gain entry by shooting through the door.
The homeowner returned fire and the suspects left the residence.
As a Decatur County deputy was arriving in the area, one of the suspects shot at the deputy’s vehicle, striking the deputy.
The deputy, later identified as Justin Bedwell, died after he was taken to a Tallahassee hospital for surgery and treatment.
The suspects fled in their truck and wrecked a short time later in a wooded area. A Georgia State Patrol helicopter and crew responded to the area of the wrecked truck. One of the two suspects, identified as Brad Phillips, age 41, was taken into custody without further incident.
Brad Phillips has been charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer. Troy Phillips faces charges of aggravated assault on a peace officer, fleeing or attempting to elude an officer, obstruction of an officer and aggravate battery on a law enforcement officer. All of the charges the two men face are felonies.
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