A fugitive accused of the attempted murder of police officers gunned down a U.S. Marshals deputy commander trying to arrest him at a Georgia mobile home park Friday, officials said.
Dontrell Carter shot Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers, 53, twice around 9 a.m. when Carothers and other members of his team from inside the trailer where they found Carter at the Ludowici mobile home park, according to the U.S. Marshal Service. Carothers’ team shot and killed Carter when they returned his fire, investigators said.
“The fugitive who killed Deputy Commander Carothers was extremely dangerous, wanted for trying to kill law enforcement officers and deliberately evading authorities,” the Service’s deputy director, David Harlow, said in a statement. “Pat is a hero and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and five children.”
The 26-year agent from the Service’s field office in Macon suffered the fatal wounds despite wearing a protective vest, officials told The Macon Telegraph. The shooting happened in Long County, roughly 55 miles southeast of Savannah.
Carter, 25, faced charges of attempted murder of police officers, domestic violence and unlawfully discharging a weapon, according to U.S. Marshals. The charges stemmed from a September shooting in South Carolina’s Sumter County, some 200 miles from the scene of Friday’s shooting.
Authorities had offered a $7,500 reward for information leading to Carter’s arrest last month, according to the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators said Carter fired into the home of a family member Sept. 18 after the family member intervened during domestic violence.
Carter then led officers who rushed to the home on a highway chase before ditching his car and firing on the officers pursuing him, according to deputies. Investigators said he escaped that night but was believed to be “in the immediate area” following the shooting.
Carothers and his team later tracked Carter to the single-wide trailer at Spring Creek Mobile Home Park near Ludowici on Tibit Drive, according to investigators. He opened fire on the agents from the Southeast Regional Task Force when they tried to go inside the trailer on Friday morning, U.S. Marshals said.
A medic team gave Carothers first aid, but he died at a hospital in nearby Hinesville.
“It’s terrible,” Officer John Edgar, a member of the team led by Carothers, told The Telegraph. “He was just a great family man, a great employee, a great mentor and a great leader.”
Medical staff at a hospital in Savannah pronounced Carter dead upon his arrival. Long County Sheriff’s deputies, Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents and FBI teams were examining the mobile home park on Friday afternoon, WSAV-TV reported.
Special Agent Stephen Emmett, an FBI Atlanta office spokesman, confirmed that the deputy marshal had been fatally shot but said no further information was immediately available.
“Our deputies and law enforcement partners face dangers every day in the pursuit of justice nationwide,” U.S. Marshals deputy director Harlow said.
With News Wire Services.