Police probe why wanted man shot himself in Sylvester

SYLVESTER, GA (WALB) - Authorities are working to learn more about a man who shot and killed himself in front of officers in Sylvester.

It happened early Sunday morning. Sylvester Police pulled over 26-year-old Jose Manuel Huerta, who was a suspect in a shooting in Tift County.

Investigators said he shot himself inside his pickup truck before anyone could talk with him.

The Tift Co. Sheriff's office checked Monday to see if the shell casings from the gun at a house in Tift County matched the same gun Huerta used to kill himself.

An autopsy was requested for Huerta.

Sylvester Police later learned that he was wanted in Tifton.

As investigators learn more about the original shooting, they said they are getting information from Maria Dolores-Corona, who is an ex-girlfriend of Huerta.

She told officers someone shot at her through a window.

Authorities stress that while officers learn more through a shooting investigation, it's important for them to get debriefed after a situation similar to the one Sunday.

"When they leave there it's always recommended that they have a chance to be with somebody. Mostly someone who with the group was a professional to help them debrief and defuse the emotional impact it has on them," said Mac Wilcox, who is a counselor in Albany.

Difficulty sleeping or the need to use alcohol or medications can be a sign that someone needs counseling.

"It maybe months or even years before it impacts you. and it's good to have someone to process it with who knows how to help process it," Wilcox said.

Counselors say often times first responders or law enforcers may not even realize the impact until years later.

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