Suspect Lembrick, Wanted For Officer Smarr’s Murder, Dead After SWAT Standoff

Lembrick died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during SWAT standoff.

Lembrick died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound during SWAT standoff.

Lembrick Dead From Self-Inflicted Gunshot Wound

Americus, GA –  Minquell Kennedy Lembrick, age 32, was found dead inside a residence Thursday morning after a hours-long SWAT standoff.  According to police sources, he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. Lembrick shot and killed Officer Nicholas Smarr, age 25, and shot and critically wounded Officer Jody Smith, Georgia Southwestern State University Public Safety, yesterday morning, December 7, 2016.  He fled after the shootings and a massive manhunt involving multiple law enforcement agencies began.

According to news sources, APD Officer Smarr, age 25, responded to a call of a domestic about 9:40 a.m. at Country Club Estate Apartments, beside Griffin Bell Golf Course, near the south side of the main Georgia Southwestern State University campus.  GSSU PS Officer Smith also responded to the call to assist Officer Smarr. Upon arrival, Lembrick shot at both Officers and gunfire was exchanged.  It is unknown if Lembrick was shot during the incident but he fled the scene. The Officers were unaware when they arrived that Lembrick had outstanding felony warrants for kidnapping and other warrants involving a previous domestic violence incident.  Both Officers were flown to Navicent Health in Macon for medical treatment.  APD Officer Smarr later died.  GSSU PS Officer Smith had surgery and is in ICU in “very, very critical condition.”

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation.  They held a press conference last night and asked Lembrick to turn himself in.  A reward of $70,000 was offered for anyone who had information that led to the arrest of Lembrick and anyone with information was urged to call 911.  The Georgia Southwestern State University campus was placed on lockdown after the Officers were shot.  Students, staff, and faculty were told to shelter in place.  A limited lockdown of the university continued last night.  Officers were searching building by building then releasing each building after it was cleared.  Police Officers were assigned to residence halls and residents were told to stay inside unless they were going out of town.  The lockdown has now been lifted but classes were cancelled for today.

Lembrick refused to surrender as the manhunt continued throughout the day and night, Wednesday.  He occasionally posted on Facebook that he was not going to jail, that his other life was over, and that he would not be taken alive.  The manhunt intensified this morning as Officers surrounded an Americus home in the 300 block of Allen Street where Lembrick was barricaded inside.  According to Greg Hancock, Sumter County Coroner, Lembrick knew that the house was surrounded and that police were about to go in.  The owner of the residence is not known and it is also unknown if other occupants were inside the home.  No one else was injured.

Mark Scott, Americus PD Chief, said that Officer Smarr’s death “was a tremendous loss to our family.”  APD Officer Smarr and GSSU PS Officer Smith were best friends, had graduated from high school together in 2009, and went to the academy together.  The body of Americus PD Officer Smarr was escorted Thursday morning by Americus Police Department Officers and the Georgia State Patrol to the Coroner’s Office in Macon.

We thank all law enforcement Officers who participated in this manhunt for the coward who shot and killed Officer Smarr, and who shot and critically injured Officer Smith.  Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of fallen Hero Americus Police Officer Nicholas Smarr, his family, and his family in blue.  Our thoughts are also with fallen Hero Officer Jody Smith, Georgia Southwestern State University Public Safety, as he continues to fight for his life at Navicent Health in Macon, as well as his family and blue family.

Godspeed, Officer Smarr, sir, we will take your watch from here.  Thank you for your service.

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