State senator’s truck stolen during Clinch Co. officer-involved shooting

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Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 9:14 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2021 at 10:31 PM EDT
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HOMERVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - Law enforcement and state authorities are looking for Samuel Reginald Thornton in connection to an incident that happened in Homerville on Sunday.

WALB News 10 has learned more about who the stolen truck in that incident actually belonged to and what people in the community witnessed.

The stolen pick-up truck belonged to Russ Goodman, Georgia’s District 8 state senator.

Goodman said he and sheriff, Stephen Tinsley, were in Sunday school when he saw the sheriff stepping out.

Goodman said he and his wife had no idea what was going on but were told to lock their doors.

“Came back to the house, when we got here, there was police tape up in our driveway, there was local and state officials all over the place. The guy that got away started a manhunt with that, called in the helicopters and didn’t know where he was at. Then we figured out he had gotten one of our trucks,” said Goodman.

Deputies tried to stop Tracy Alan Guess and Samuel Reginald Thornton after a call about suspicious activity on Thelma Highway.

A Clinch County deputy first made contact with them at a traffic stop on Frank Sessoms Highway when he saw the vehicle that matched the description.

As he tried to detain them, they fled.

After pursuing the two, they crashed into another deputy’s car.

It ended on GA Highway 122, which is when the sheriff said Thornton ran and one of Goodman’s trucks was stolen. It was a 2017 Ford F150 that belonged to Timberline Reforestation, Goodman’s company.

Officers tried to arrest Guess, even after unsuccessful attempts to tase him.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) said Guess grabbed another officer’s taser and tased a different officer, and the tased officer shot Guess.

Guess is still in the hospital with a gunshot wound to his leg.

Goodman said he appreciates what enforcement officers do to protect the community.

“This kind of thing you see on the news but never really think it’ll happen in your front yard literally, but when it does, I can tell ya, it gives you a fresh perspective of what our law enforcement community means to all of us,” said Goodman.

The GBI said this is the 67th officer-involved shooting they’ve been requested to investigate in 2021.

Police are still searching for Samuel Thornton and the stolen truck. If you see or know where he is, you’re asked to call 911.

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