Suspect opens fire on a Rincon police officer

By Christy Hutchings - bio | email

RINCON, GA (WTOC) - For the second time in about a week, a gunman has opened fire on a police officer. This time it happened at a house on Exley Drive.

The officer was responding to a home invasion when a suspect came out of the house and started shooting. When the officer ducked for cover, three men ran out of the house and into the woods.

"It's scary knowing that you have somebody out there," said Ute Woodley who lives in the neighborhood.

For hours a helicopter circled the woods. Deputies were positioned on the ground, waiting for the first sign of movement in the wood line. Two suspects were caught within the first hour, but the third remained at large.

Woodley's neighborhood went from being a quiet, peaceful community to a major crime scene. "If they're shooting at a police officer, they will shoot at anybody. They have no regards for life and that's the scary part of it," said Woodley.

The shooting hit close to home for Eric Albino. He lives right next door to where the home invasion took place. "I told my wife and friends inside to make sure you lock both locks and keep an eye out," said Albino.

Albino says he doesn't know why anyone would target his neighbors, but he says this isn't the first time someone has tried. "About three or four days ago the police were here, and they knocked on our doors asking if we were alright. They let us know somebody tried to get in their door," said Albino.

Was it was a coincidence or did the same people come back a second time? That's still  unknown.

Police do have two people in custody, Justin Crawford and Mark Williams. Both men charged with criminal attempt to commit murder on a police officer, aggravated assault on a police officer and aggravated assault on the residents.

The third suspect is not in custody, but police have identified who he is, and are expected to make an arrest soon.

The Rincon police officer was not injured in the shooting.

Copyright 2010 WTOC. All rights reserved.