MACON, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheriff’s deputy was killed Thursday as officers tried to stop a suspicious vehicle, which crashed into his patrol vehicle, authorities said.
Bibb County Deputy Anthony “T.J.” Freeman, 29, died at a hospital after the wreck early Thursday morning in the central Georgia county, sheriff’s Lt. Randy Gonzalez said.
The impact of the crash sent the deputy’s car into the front of a house, Gonzalez told The Telegraph newspaper in Macon (bit.ly/1rwh6aT).
“The vehicle tried to elude from the investigators behind it,” Bibb County Sheriff David Davis told reporters at the scene. “Deputy T.J. Freeman was coming to assist. The suspect vehicle struck his sheriff’s car and the resulting accident ended his life.”
Freeman worked with a police dog, which was with him when the crash happened, Gonzalez said. The dog did not appear to be injured, he said.
In addition to being a K-9 handler, Freeman also was a Special Weapons And Tactics officer and was on the agency’s drug unit, Davis said.
“He was the kind of deputy that every sheriff, every police chief would want,” Davis added. “He was well-liked, very professional and he will be sorely missed.”
He leaves behind a wife and two children, the sheriff said.
The suspect, who authorities say refused to stop for deputies, suffered minor injuries and was taken into custody. Gonzalez declined to discuss possible charges for the suspect, whose identity wasn’t immediately released.
“There are charges that will likely be brought, but that will come as the investigation moves forward,” Davis said.
The Georgia State Patrol is investigating the wreck, he said.
Information from: The Macon Telegraph, http://www.macontelegraph.com
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