Drug suspect opens fire in Phoebe Sumter parking lot - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drug suspect opens fire in Phoebe Sumter parking lot

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  Bullets whizzed through a busy hospital parking lot in Americus.

Investigators were trying to stop a woman wanted on drug charges when she opened fire on investigators in a full parking lot. No one except the woman was injured. Investigators believe she shot herself in the head after she fired multiple shots from an SUV.

 The scene could have been so much worse. Several cars in the parking lot were hit by gunfire, but only the suspect who shot herself was wounded. Now police are trying to figure out the woman's identity.

Three different crime scenes fill the Phoebe Sumter hospital parking lot. A bullet hole just above the tire, evidence of what happened just after 1:00 PM.  James Coleman across the street at Wayne's World was pumping gas when he heard the shots.

"My first thought was a car tire blowing, and then all the sirens started going on and somebody told me there was a shooting across the road," said James Coleman, a Wayne's World employee.

Investigators scoured the parking lot for bullets.  They aren't sure how many rounds were fired as deputies stopped the woman for her involvement in a drug deal in the Winn Dixie parking lot.

"He had to take cover and was in the process of starting to return fire when she started attempting to leave," said Sumter County Sheriff Pete Smith.

The woman drove closer to the hospital's Emergency Room doors before firing again, but soon found herself boxed in by Sheriff Pete Smith who was nearby on Hudson Street when the shots rang out.

"I boxed her in and exited the vehicle and made her get out on the ground, I don't remember exactly what I said to here but she needed to get out on the ground and she did," said Smith.

The woman got out of the car bleeding from the head, but complying with demands.

"I got the emergency room staff and the ambulance folks to come out and assist her after we got her in custody and everything without further incident," said Smith.

The GBI will look at the crime scene from both the ground and the sky.

"A situation like this where you have and emergency room obviously things are changing all the time so what that does it allows us to kind of freeze time so to speak so he can show how everything was," said Special Agent in Charge Trebor Randle, GBI-Americus.

Another man is in custody, facing drug charges after being arrested in the Winn Dixie parking lot next door. Investigators are still working on both of their identities because they both have several aliases.

Sheriff Pete Smith said so far no ones come forward to say they were in the parking lot when the shooting happened. He's certain someone was and is asking anyone who may have seen the incident to contact the Sheriff's Department or the GBI to help with the investigation.

Investigators have not yet determined what charges will be filed against the two. They don't think the suspects are from Sumter County.


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