Suspect in custody, deputy recovering after shooting in Pooler - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Suspect in custody, deputy recovering after shooting in Pooler

Vincent Helmly, 25, was arrested by SCMPD in 2012 and was charged with battery. (Source: SCMPD) Vincent Helmly, 25, was arrested by SCMPD in 2012 and was charged with battery. (Source: SCMPD)
Deputy Lester Ellerbe, (Source: Facebook) Deputy Lester Ellerbe, (Source: Facebook)
(Source: WTOC) (Source: WTOC)
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POOLER, GA (WTOC) -

A Chatham County Sheriff's deputy was shot on Leah Drive in Pooler while serving a warrant on Wednesday.

Officials told WTOC that Deputy Lester Ellerbe was shot in the left arm while serving a warrant to a male who was stalking his girlfriend. 

Deputy Ellerbe was transported to the hospital. Sources close to the investigation tell WTOC that he has been released from the hospital. Deputy Ellerbe has been with the Chatham County Sheriff's Office for nearly 20 years. According to his LinkedIn page, Ellerbe joined the department in 1997. 

Quacco Road was closed for most of Wednesday afternoon due to the response to the standoff situation. 

According to the Chatham-County Sheriff's Office, the suspect has been identified as Vincent Helmly.

"We understand that he has a lot of weapons inside. How many, I don't know,” said Chatham County Sheriff’s Office PIO Pete Nichols. “They're in conversation with him. I did hear on the radio, that he's getting ready to drop them out."

After shooting the deputy, Helmly barricaded himself inside the house for about four hours. Just before 7:30 p.m., he was taken into police custody without incident.

Law enforcement officers prepare for the worst when serving papers. Especially a criminal warrant, like in this case.

"You just don't know who you're approaching and they don't know why you're there, so we constantly remind them to be alert and don't drop their guard on any type of service they're doing, even if it's just a civil service or a subpoena. Any officer this day in time can be a target,” said Interim Sheriff Harris.

CLICK HERE: Watch the full interview with CCSO Interim Sheriff Roy Harris after Wednesday's deputy involved shooting.

Multiple agencies responded, including Georgia State Patrol and SCMPD's SWAT team. Helmly eventually surrendered after contact with police negotiators and his own father. 

This was not Helmly’s first run in with the law. In 2009, he was arrested in Bloomingdale for shooting and killing a family’s pet deer. He was charged with two misdemeanors and ordered to pay a fine, complete 200 hours of community service and serve two-years probation. 

The incident Wednesday all stemmed from a domestic violence issue between the suspect and his girlfriend, who had a restraining order against him. Experts say it's not uncommon for things to take an extreme turn when a domestic violence victim takes a stand.

"Statistically, when a victim does make the decision to leave, that is the most dangerous time for her, and I don't know if that has anything to do with this. If he knew that she had taken out this order, because it's all about power and control,” said SAFE Shelter Executive Director Cheryl Branch.

If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence in the Savannah area, please contact SAFE Shelter at 912.629.8888 or email Executive Director Branch at director@safeshelter.org.

Interim Sheriff Harris is planning a briefing Thursday at 11:15 a.m.

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