January 22, 2017

Suspect Arrested after Cobb County Officer Shot

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ATLANTA, GA—Police in Cobb County have arrested James A. Phillips, 36, for the shooting of Officer C.A. Vill Tuesday morning. After the shooting, officer Vill was immediately taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital where he is listed as being in “good condition.”

When the 2:30 a.m. shooting took place, Officer Vill had just pulled over a blue Volvo in front of an office building on Powers Ferry Road between Windy Hill Road and I-285. Backup was already on its way, but hadn’t yet arrived when Vill was shot. Around one hundred officers immediately began a manhunt for the shooter, finally locating Phillips hiding underneath the stairwell of a nearby building.

Just before 11 a.m., Cobb police Sgt. Dana Pierce said, “We now have in custody one individual we believe is going to be the shooter.”

“We got him in custody south of I-285, about a mile away [from the scene of the shooting],” Pierce said. “He was found in the stairwell of a home near the Chattahoochee River and he surrendered without incident.”

“Our officers have been out searching all morning and that’s what the officers were doing when they came across what would be described as a suspicious individual,” the sergeant said. “As they began to question him, he very obviously became suspicious.

According to Pierce, Vill has been with the department for about 18 months and noticed suspicious behavior between the Volvo and a red Ford Fusion, which is what originally prompted the traffic stop. The area where the suspected gunman was found is part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

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Sgt. Pierce also said that the occupants of the Volvo have been taken into custody and will be questioned for their involvement in the shooting.

According to Rudy Evenson, the park information officer for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, the stairwell underneath which Phillips was found is an “old ranger operation center for the south district.” The building has been mostly used as office space for park rangers, but hasn’t been used for some five years and is slated for demolition in the coming months.

Police had originally sent out an alert looking for the Ford Fusion, but have since rescinded that statement, saying that the Fusion was no longer of interest in the search. Instead, around 100 officers conducted the eight-hour manhunt, finally capturing Phillips.

Brian Crenshaw

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