Cordele murder suspect arrested at Perry hotel after gunfire with officers

Cordele murder suspect arrested at Perry hotel after gunfire with officers

CORDELE, GA (WALB) - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Cordele Police Department and Houston County Special Response team tracked the man identified as the suspect in a shooting Saturday that left one person dead and another in the hospital.

According to the GBI, officials arrested James Smith, 39, Sunday morning at the Scottish Inn in Perry.

GBI Special Agent JT Ricketson said that the Houston County SWAT team went inside the Scottish Inn around 4:50 a.m.

Ricketson said Smith opened fire at the officers, hitting their ballistic shields at least twice.

The GBI reported that two officers fired back, while Smith continued firing a weapon.

The rounds lasted about 8-10 minutes until the suspect gave up, according to the GBI.

No one was hurt during the standoff.

Around 5 a.m., the officers took Smith into custody. As of Sunday afternoon, he was being held at the Houston County Detention Center.

Cordele Police also identified the two victims of the shooting that happened Saturday on the 400 block of East 21st Avenue. Police said Sheena Jones, 33, is in critical condition at the Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and Shawna Ware, 31, was pronounced dead on the scene.

Police said that Smith has arrest warrants for murder and aggravated assault of an officer with other pending charges.

Cordele Police Chief Rob Rodriguez issued a statement:

"Due to the tireless efforts of these agencies, the suspect was caught and can now be brought to justice. The families of the victims no longer have to worry about Smith being on the loose. Our thoughts and prayers are with them."

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