HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — The Henry County Sheriff's Office released new details explaining exactly what led to the death of a Locust Grove officer and the injury of two of their deputies on Friday, Feb. 9.
Sheriff Keith McBrayer spoke with 11Alive's Kaitlyn Ross over the phone to walk her through exactly what happened that tragic afternoon.
"He didn't believe in our laws, he doesn't believe in our government and he doesn't believe that our rules or laws affect him," the sheriff said during a Tuesday interview with 11Alive.
According to McBrayer, the deputies were trying to serve a warrant to Tierre Guthrie for a failure to appear at a Feb. 6 court date. A judge signed the warrant for his arrest Feb. 7 and two days later, officers arrived at Guthrie's residence to serve it.
"When we went to the house, we did have an arrest warrant from the city system out of Locust Grove. Deputy Corley was assigned the warrant, Deputy Callaway was in the car with him as a backup officer, McBrayer explained. "When they got there and talked to Mr. Guthrie, it was very obvious that he was not going to be a participant in this issue. There was a payout amount on the warrant, the judge had assigned a payout, so he could have just paid it, and not had to stay in jail."
McBrayer said the officers gave Guthrie two options before things escalated: He could have either paid $350 for the illegal parking ticket he received or go to jail for failing to appear in court.
"The whole discussion was to convince him that this is the best way to handle this and to get it behind him," McBrayer said. "That wasn't going to happen fro Mr. Guthrie's point of view."
McBrayer said deputies really thought the situation could be resolved peacefully, but once deputies called for backup, Guthrie started to put up a fight. He left the front door and ran up the stairs in his home.
"It would have been a nightmare situation because you're in tight quarters that the individual is trying to cause harm," McBrayer said.
Officer Michael Corely, one of the injured deputies, was the first to be shot in his bullet resistant vest while attempting to chase Guthrie up the steps.
That's when several shots rang out. Officer Chase Maddox was shot three times, killing him. Deputy Ralph Sidwell Callaway was shot just below his bullet resistant vest, seriously injuring him. The whole incident only lasted a few seconds.
It is still unknown how Guthrie was able to shoot all three officers. That's still being investigated, though McBrayer theorizes he may have had a gun on him.
"My impression is, he had the gun on his body," McBrayer said. "He had it somewhere, whether it was on his belt or in a pocket. He didn't go get it, he already had it on him."
According to the sheriff, Callaway was recently moved out of the ICU and is recovering. Deputy Corley is doing as well as can be expected.
Maddox was expecting his second child with his wife. On Monday, just three days after the shooting, the slain officer's wife went into induced labor. Locust Grove Mayor Robert Price confirmed on Tuesday, she'd given birth to a healthy baby boy.
McBrayer said it will be part of the the healing process, one that will bring "a small glimmer of hope for them."
McBrayer said funeral arrangements have not been revealed at this time, but after that "people can start to heal."