CONYERS -- A Rockdale County Sheriff's Office deputy was shot and killed Saturday afternoon while serving a warrant in a residential neighborhood off Honey Creek Road. The suspect involved in the shooting also died.
RCSO spokeswoman Sgt. Jodi Shupe said Deputy Brian Lamar Mahaffey died at Rockdale Medical Center where he was taken after the shooting.
The other man was identified by a family member as Terry Brown, who was at the residence when Mahaffey arrived.
Shupe said that the incident stemmed from the investigation of a rape that occurred Friday night. Shupe described the rape as "pretty serious" and Mahaffey, along with eight other RCSO deputies and investigators, were serving a warrant. The men entered the house at 3504 Sand Hill Drive, about two blocks west of Honey Creek Elementary School when shots were fired. The deputies returned fire and killed the suspect.
Mahaffey, who had joined the RCSO Narcotics and Vice Unit last year, was taken by ambulance to RMC. A second Narcotics and Vice deputy was struck in the leg by shrapnel during the shooting. He was treated and released at RMC, Shupe said.
All of the deputies wore bullet proof vests. Shupe said Mahaffey was struck by a bullet at an unusual angle that left a fatal wound underneath the vest.
Because a suspect died from the incident, Sheriff's Office policy called for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to come in to investigate the shooting, Shupe said.
A beautiful spring afternoon was broken by sirens from law enforcement vehicles as they raced down Ga. Highway 20 to respond to the call. Sheriff's deputies controlled traffic and blocked off entrance to Sand Hill Drive from Honey Creek Road. But several neighbors and onlookers were outside of the scene, standing at the intersection of Sand Hill Drive and Honey Creek Road.
Units of the Georgia State Patrol and Conyers Police Department were also on the scene.
"I mean, there were 35 cop cars out here earlier, three ambulances, a life flight (helicopter)," local resident Kelly Howard said.
Howard said she was told the helicopter was going to land in her yard but the telephone wires were in the way.
Robert Seago was one of the neighbors out watching from across the street. He said he did not hear any gun shots or anything out the ordinary before officials arrived.
"I was back on the back porch and I didn't hear a thing," Seago said.
"The only thing I heard were sirens."
Seago added that since he has lived there the neighborhood has always been pretty quiet.
"It's always been a nice place to live," Seago said.
Terry's wife, Mary Brown, told the Citizen her husband was inside the residence where the shot deputy served the warrant. Brown said her husband called her and, in a very short phone conversation, told her to 'Just call my (mother) ... and tell her I love them.'"
Mary Brown said she did not hear any gun shots or anything in the background. She was concerned from the phone call and drove to the house.
"It was just loaded with tapes and police cars," Mary Brown said. She added that she was upset and expressed frustration because she was not getting any information from officials.
"I don't know. I just don't know," Brown said.
Also on Saturday, a group of 20 to 30 people organized at the courthouse as a counter protest to rumors of a Ku Klux Klan gathering.
About 1 p.m., Gerald Rose announced over a megaphone that a deputy was shot and asked the group to observe a moment of silence.
Mahaffey joined the Sheriff's Office in July 2005. After his certification, he transferred to the Uniformed Division. He became an undercover deputy for the Narcotics and Vice Unit in February 2009.
Shupe said many in the Sheriff's Office were stunned upon hearing the news of Mahaffey's death, and the impact of losing a fellow deputy will take a few days to fully understand.
Mahaffey was the first RCSO deputy to die in the line of duty since the end of the 19th century. He was married with two children.
News Editor Jay Jones contributed to this story.