Wednesday’s tragic shooting of 2
officers responding to a domestic situation came full circle yesterday
afternoon with the passing of the shooter and his second victim, Officer Jody
Smith. Americus Police Officer Nick Smarr died following Wednesday’s shooting
then after an intensive manhunt involving 300 law enforcement from all over
South Georgia, the shooter, 32-year old Minquel Lembrick took his own life
before being taken into custody. A tip had led law enforcement to Lembrick’s
location to a residence in the 300 block of Allen Street. Hours after the shooter died from an
apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Officer Jody Smith passed away from his
injuries after being shot. The person who gave the tip of the shooter’s
whereabouts will be eligible for the $70,000 reward that had been offered.
$20,000 additional reward money was donated early yesterday morning from nearby
agencies that raised that total to $70,000. Closure has come in the case but
not for the families, the community and their law enforcement families. As stated
in yesterday’s final press conference by Americus Chief of Police Mark Scott,
both of these officers are heroes and died as heroes by coming to the aid of a
domestic victim. The GBI is now fully in charge of this investigation.
The SumterCountyBOE held their monthly meeting last night. The big item voted on came
after a 59-minute closed session. The Board voted to rescind a resolution
purchasing land from the PDA at $3850 an acre for the new high school site
across from South
GeorgiaTechnicalCollege. This passed unanimously. A resolution was then made to purchase
property from the PDA at $3875 per acre for the same site. There had been an
error in the wording of the original document it appears. This new resolution
passed 6-1. In other Board action from last night, the financial report,
accounts payables and preliminary cash flow report were all approved. Workers compensation
insurance renewal was then approved. Re-bidding of computers for the technology
department passed unanimously. An agreement between AngeloStateUniversity and the SCS for counseling practice was accepted. A discussion
of the Ombudsman program followed and a decision of possibly stopping the
contract at the end of the term will come up for a vote in January. Under personnel,
the Board accepted 4 resignations; hired 5; approved 2 family medical leave
adjustments; and hired 1 long-term substitute. 2 salary adjustments were also
approved. The meeting then adjourned.
The state championship banner for the
Lady Panthers will be raised tonight at the South Campus Panther Den during the
game with CrispCounty. The game starts at 6 but with a large crowd expected to attend, you
need to get there early!
Tomorrow, 2 area teams will be trying
to bring home a state title of their own in GRPA football games. The Sumter 8 and Under team plays host Calhoun in
Calhoun for that state title at 9 tomorrow morning. The Schley County 9 &
10 year old team plays Pierce County tomorrow morning at 11 in Savannah for
that title. Good luck to these players and coaches tomorrow!
Sumter on Ice will have a ribbon cutting at
4 this afternoon in Rylander Park and then ice skating will be available till 9
tonight. Admission to Sumter
on Ice is $5 and that includes your skate rentals. Sumter on Ice is from today through Friday December
30th. You will be able to skate on Saturday’s from until ; Sundays from 1-6; Mondays will be for group sales only; and then Tuesday-Friday
from Ice skate with family and friends during
the holidays in Rylander Park downtown.
Things were “near” normal this
morning for the Americus Police Department after losing one of their own this
week in the line of duty. It was good to hear them talking and discussing the
assistance they’ve received from their fellow law enforcement since Wednesday. It
was rather quiet on Thursday. Richard Charles Pitts was arrested for
shoplifting and possession and use of a drug-related object for an incident at 1101 Crawford Street.
Battery complaints were made at 411
Crawley Street and 1300 Douglas Circle, both from domestic incidents.
There were 2 accidents yesterday in
the City with 1 being deer-related.
Nightshift did make a plea to
business owners that still have sprinklers running overnight to make sure they
don’t get in the roadway or sidewalks, especially with the temperatures
dropping to the mid-20s tonight or there could be an icy mess tomorrow morning.