Correction: Officers Shot-Georgia story

AP News
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Posted: Feb 25, 2015 9:38 AM
Correction: Officers Shot-Georgia story

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — In a story Feb. 23 about a shooting that left three dead and injured two law enforcement officers, The Associated Press, relying on information provided by The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, reported erroneously the last name of a sheriff's deputy who had been injured. His last name is Zigan, not Zigen.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Officials: 3 dead, 2 officers wounded in shooting in Georgia

3 dead, including suspect, and 2 officers wounded in shooting at Georgia home, officials say

By KATE BRUMBACK

Associated Press

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) — A former law enforcement officer who had lost his job because of allegations of domestic violence shot his ex-wife to death and wounded a sheriff and deputy Sunday at a home in northeastern Georgia, authorities said.

Anthony Giaquinta, 41, fatally shot his ex-wife, Kathy Giaquinta Smith, at the home in Clarkesville, Russell Andrews with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation told reporters Monday. The body of Steven Thomas Singleton, 45, was found outside the home, and authorities believe Giaquinta shot him as well.

Giaquinta initially fled but was later found dead outside the home. Authorities believe he died from a gunshot wound suffered in an exchange of shots with a sheriff's deputy, Andrews said.

"We think it is a long-simmering domestic dispute that had been going on between Anthony Giaquinta and Kathy Giaquinta Smith," Andrews said. "We do think it involves the personal relationship between the two of them and possibly her relationship with other people."

Andrews gave this account of the shootings:

Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell and two of his deputies went to the home after a report of domestic violence with gunshots came in on a 911 call around 7:33 p.m. Sunday.

As they turned into the subdivision, a black Ford Crown Victoria came speeding toward them and spun out into a nearby yard. Giaquinta, who was driving, got out and ran into some nearby woods, Andrews said.

After failing to find Giaquinta, Terrell and his deputies talked to Giaquinta's 16-year-old daughter, who had placed the 911 call, and then went to the home where they found Smith dead on the garage floor.

Sheriff's Deputy Bill Zigan stood guard outside the garage while the sheriff and the other deputy went inside the house. But Giaquinta had circled back to some woods near the house in what authorities are calling an ambush and fired at Zigan, hitting him twice.

As Terrell and the other deputy, whose name isn't being released, ran to help, Giaquinta shot the sheriff in the bicep, Andrews said. The unnamed deputy exchanged gunfire with Giaquinta.

Local SWAT teams later found Giaquinta's body in the backyard. Andrews said it appears Giaquinta died from a gunshot fired by a law enforcement officer. There's no evidence his wound was self-inflicted, but law enforcement officers are awaiting a medical examiner's report to confirm that, Andrews said.

As they searched the house and yard, officers found Singleton's body in a side yard. Andrews said Singleton was a close friend of Smith.

Giaquinta was using a 9 mm Glock pistol, and no other weapons were found at the scene, Andrews said.

Giaquinta had been in and out of Georgia law enforcement for years. He had worked for the Gainesville Police Department and the Habersham County Sheriff's Office, where he was a dog handler. He was fired from the Habersham County Sheriff's Office on June 15, 2013, after allegations of domestic violence surfaced.

It's not uncommon in smaller Georgia communities for the sheriff to respond to 911 calls, Andrews said, and in this case Terrell also responded because he was familiar with Giaquinta and the previous domestic violence allegations.

Giaquinta was never convicted on domestic violence charges and no restraining orders against him were in effect, Andrews said.

Andrews did not know when Giaquinta and Smith divorced.

Andrews said he's not aware of any bad blood between Giaquinta and the sheriff, but he said Giaquinta seems to have been disenchanted with law enforcement in general. Giaquinta said nothing to the sheriff and his deputies, Andrews said.

Terrell was treated for a gunshot wound to his arm and was released from the hospital. Zigan was still in the hospital Monday, but his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening.

Giaquinta and Smith's 16-year-old daughter told investigators she and her boyfriend were at the house when her father arrived. A short time later, she saw her father with a gun and saw that her mother had been shot, Andrews said. She and her boyfriend left the house and called 911.

Giaquinta and Smith's other daughter, who's 18, is in college and was not at the home.

Clarkesville is about 85 miles northeast of Atlanta in the northeast Georgia mountains.