CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A night of violence in Clayton County left a police officer and three others dead. One of the three was the suspect in the shooting, who fired at officers. On Thursday, Clayton County Police released the names of the two civilian victims.
Clayton County Police received a call advising there was a drive-by shooting near the 3600 block of Jervis Court in Rex, Georgia around 8:40 p.m. on Tuesday. A second call said there was a woman lying motionless in the yard. A third call came in reporting a child was shot at another location.
After multiple calls to police, officers rushed to the scene and were trying to find the woman and child. The child took law enforcement to the scene and they were met with gunfire from the suspect, striking two officers. Officers fired back and killed the suspect.
Clayton County Field Training Officer Henry Laxson was shot and killed during the exchange of gunfire. He was taken to Piedmont Henry Hospital where he died.
Suspended Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill, who knew the officer called him "one of Clayton’s finest."
"Laxson far exceeded all expectations of what an ideal police officer should be," Hill added.
Chief Kevin Roberts also offered condolences about the situation.
"These men and women do an honorable job every day. My heart aches for every police officer and their family that goes through these type of things. These things just shouldn't happen," he said about the shooting.
According to the Clayton County Police Department's Facebook page, Laxson was promoted to his current position in October.
Former Clayton County Police Department Officer Jim Lee recalls Laxson having the personality of a friendly Labrador Retriever.
“That's the best way I can describe him because he's a full-grown man but he was so excited for his job,” Lee said.
Laxson had a constant smile and a passion for his work, Lee said.
“He never quit that energy. He was always positive. He achieved his dreams. He said he wanted to be on SWAT, so he did it," Lee said. "He made it. He wanted to do dive. He wanted to do everything and to know everything about the job.”
Allison Abel was friends with Laxson in high school. She said he went to Jonesboro High school and played football.
“Henry was probably one of the sweetest guys I ever knew in high school. He always made me feel welcomed. He was smart, very smart, and he worked really hard in school," Abel said.
Abel recalled a time she got hurt, and Laxson carried her books to each class.
"He was always a kind person," Abel said. "Everybody liked him. It wasn't just the students, but his teachers loved him as well."
“It's not just my loss. it is everybody's loss," Lee said. "Everybody is suffering for this because you just lost a great person. You lost a great person who did a lot of positivity and died taking out a very bad person.“
Since Officer Laxson's passing, a fundraiser has been created. The fundraiser can be found here.
Once they determined the suspect was killed and the scene was secure, police located two women who had been killed prior to the exchange with the suspect.
The women have been identified as 70-year-old Mary Gilliam and 32-year-old Dominique Bibbins. Their relations are also unknown at this time.
The 12-year-old was taken to the hospital in critical condition, according to authorities. They are calling it a domestic violence situation.
Officers said they are still investigating the incident. 11Alive is working to learn more details about the victims.
A second officer, identified as Alex Chandler, was shot in the hand and taken to Grady Hospital. Authorities said his injuries were not life-threatening.
Lee and Chandler worked together in the department.
“He's much more fit than I am, but I'm better at writing and doing the technical stuff. We made a pretty good pair. He was a go-getter. He still is. He’s still is a go-getter," Lee said.
The Clayton County Police Department is investigating the triple shooting incident. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will continue its independent investigation of the shooting. Once complete, the case will be handed to the Clayton County District Attorney’s Office for review.