Centerville Police have taken a local resident into custody after he allegedly shot an officer who responded to a domestic violence call late Friday night. The incident escalated to a 10-hour shootout with police, a daring rescue of a woman trapped inside the home with the gunman, and an eventual arrest early Saturday morning.
According to Houston County Sheriff Captain M.J. Stokes, 45-year Perry Baggett was found hiding in the attic and taken into custody at about 7 a.m. on Saturday after a long night of gunfire exchange and negotiations with police. He reportedly had injuries to his hands, but the nature of those injuries was not released.
The Macon Telegraph reported that Cpl. Jeremy Mashuga responded to a 911 call at 9:30 p.m. on Friday. A neighbor told the operator that a man and woman were engaged in an argument and disturbing the peace.
When the police arrived, Baggett reportedly came out of the house and opened fire on the officers striking Mashuga in the abdomen. Mashuga was rushed to a local hospital and underwent surgery to repair the wound. He is expected to recover.
In the meantime, Baggett had barricaded himself inside the home on Jeanette Place and proceeded to shoot at police, the Telegraph reported. Several neighbors were evacuated, but a woman was trapped inside the home with the gunman for some time before officers were able to extract her.
It took a collaborative effort on the part of law enforcement to apprehend Baggett. For hours, a Georgia State Police helicopter flew above the neighborhood, shining its spotlight on the residence.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) used a bomb robot in an attempt to determine exactly where Baggett was positioned inside the two-story home. Even tear gas was used to try and force Baggett out of the house.
Sheriff Cullen Talton told the Telegraph that several hours passed on Saturday morning where officers heard nothing from Baggett and started to believe that he might be dead. Captain John Holland then said that the lights inside the home flashed on and off followed by movement detected inside the residence.
Shortly thereafter, police were able to enter the home and arrest Baggett without incident. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for the wounds on his hands and remains in police custody. The GBI has taken over the investigation.
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Special Agent J.T. Ricketson told the Telegraph that, considering the massive number of shots fired, there is still much to uncover in the matter. They have interviewed all of the officers involved and are speaking with the neighbors.
“There were a lot of shots, and that’s what’s going to take us so long,” Ricketson said.