Armed suspect wounded after confronting officers

An armed suspect who pointed a gun at law enforcement officers Tuesday night during a domestic disturbance was shot by the officers and remains in a regional hospital today, authorities said.

Deputies with the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from Ellijay Police Department officers, responded to a 911 call just after 7:30 p.m. regarding a “domestic related/attempted home invasion,” Sheriff Stacy Nicholsonsaid in a release. 

Willie Lee McCoy, 39, of 64 Hill Top Lane in south Ellijay, was attempting a home invasion on Quarles Lane after he had been asked to leave the residence, according to the release. Officers had information that McCoy had outstanding felony warrants for aggravated assault and home invasion. Quarles Lane is just off Highway 52 West (Chatsworth Highway).

“Multiple shots were fired,” Nicholson reported, adding he asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to conduct the investigation. He also said no officers were injured in the shooting.

Capt. Frank Copeland said the names of the deputies involved in the shooting was not being released at this time, but by protocol were on administrative leave with pay. Police Chief Edward Lacey said his officers were also involved and were likewise placed on admin leave with pay.

A GBI release states that “EMTs staged with officers and were able to provide immediate medical care to McCoy. McCoy was transported to a hospital for treatment, where he remains.”

Director of Public Safety Tony Pritchett said initially a life-flight helicopter was called for McCoy, but he was taken by ambulance to the Piedmont Mountainside emergency room in Ellijay for treatment. Pritchett said he did not know where doctors sent McCoy after initial treatment. 

A spokeswoman with Piedmont Mountainside Hospital in Jasper said McCoy was not a patient there.

Nelly Miles, the director of the GBI’s Office of Public Affairs, would only say the subject remains in the hospital.

The following information is included in the GBI’s release: “The (911) caller indicated that Willie McCoy, 39, of Ellijay, was asked to leave the area of the residence and refused. McCoy was also armed with a gun. As the situation unfolded, McCoy attempted to make entry into the residence. Given this information and the fact that McCoy had outstanding felony warrants for aggravated assault and home invasion, officers from both the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office and the Ellijay Police Department responded to the location. 

“Upon approach to the house, officers encountered McCoy, who was pointing a gun at the officers. As a result, McCoy was shot multiple times ... The GBI will conduct its independent investigation. Once complete, it will be turned over to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit district attorney’s office for review.”

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