LUDOWICI, Ga. (AP) — A fugitive accused of attempting to murder police officers fatally shot a deputy U.S. marshal trying to arrest him Friday in southeast Georgia, where other law officers returned fire and killed the suspect, federal authorities said.
The U.S. Marshals Service said 53-year-old Patrick Carothers, deputy commander of the agency's Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, died after being shot twice as a team of officers tried to serve a warrant at a mobile home in rural Long County.
The slain suspect was identified as Dontrell Montese Carter. He was wanted in Sumter County, South Carolina, since September on charges of attempted murder of police officers, domestic violence and illegally discharging a weapon, the Marshals Service said in a news release.
The agency said Carothers and his team had tracked Carter to a mobile home just outside Ludowici, about 55 miles southwest of Savannah. Carothers was shot as they were entering the home.
Law officers returned fire and shot Carter multiple times, the Marshals Service said. Both men were taken to area hospitals, where they were pronounced dead.
"The fugitive who killed Deputy Commander Carothers was extremely dangerous, wanted for trying to kill law enforcement officers and deliberately evading authorities," David Harlow, deputy director of the Marshals Service, said in a statement. "Pat is a hero and our thoughts and prayers are with his wife and five children."
Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch, in a statement Friday, said she was "deeply saddened" by Carothers' death.
"He stayed true to his oath to the last, laying down his life to keep his community safe and his neighbors secure," Lynch said. "I know that his legacy will live on in the proud annals of the U.S. Marshals Service and in the memory of his fellow law enforcement officers from coast to coast."
Carothers served 26 years with the Marshals Service and had been deputy commander of the fugitive task force for more than a year.
Carter, 25, had been wanted in South Carolina since Sept. 18. The Sumter County Sheriff's Office said at the time that officers tried to arrest Carter after receiving calls that he had assaulted his girlfriend and fired gunshots into the home of a relative who tried to intervene.
Carter ended up leading officers on a car chase, the sheriff's office said, and fired shots at the officers as he left his vehicle and escaped on foot.
Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis offered condolences to the slain marshal's family in a statement Friday. His office declined further comment.
This story has been corrected show that Ludowici is southwest of Savannah, not southeast.