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'Good folks are tired of this garbage' | 3 people arrested after hiding in barns following stolen vehicle pursuit, Spalding sheriff says

Deputies said it started from an earlier vehicle pursuit and shots were fired.

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — A 'shelter in place' order was lifted on Sunday after Spalding County authorities arrested three armed suspects from an earlier vehicle pursuit, they said. 

Around 1 p.m., the sheriff's office said that the area they were focusing on was around West Ellis Road, Landing Way and Moon Road. 

"Shots have been fired and subject is armed," the alert said. "Shelter in place."

They later said that deputies were searching for three people and were pursuing a vehicle that had been reported stolen from Lamar County. The Griffin Police Department, Georgia State Patrol and the Fayette County Sheriff's Office also helped with the search, the Spalding County Sheriff's Office said.

"THe pursuit covered a large area on the west side of the county before reaching West Ellis Road," Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said in an update released Monday. "At one point, deputies lost sight of the vehicle but eventually located it abandoned near Ellis Road and Landing Way."

Deputies said witnesses in the neighborhood reported three people running out of the vehicle and one of them fired at least two shots. This is when law enforcement prompted a shelter in place alert and started searching the area.

"While conducting the search, officers were contacted by a person who told us that he had picked up two people in the area that had flagged him down asking for a ride to East Mt. Zion Road," the sheriff said. 

Investigators later got a tip that a man was seen near a barn behind a home on Moon Road; that's where authorities took a 22-year-old man into custody. According to investigators, he had outstanding warrants in Lamar County and is a known member of a local gang.

After the first arrest, law enforcement lifted the shelter-in-place advisory.

About half an hour later, deputies received another tip that the other two people they were searching for made their way to a barn by a nearby Dollar General on Highway 92 near Bicycle Road, the sheriff's office said. After speaking with the homeowner, law enforcement were able to search the barn and arrest a 26-year-old woman and another 28-year-old woman believed to be involved in the vehicle pursuit.

"All of the suspects are known to local law enforcement due to our previous run-ins with them and we are going to charge them with everything possible that the law allows," the sheriff said.

Deputies said the man and two women are going to face charges such as auto theft, theft by receiving stolen property, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, obstruction of officers, among other charges.

"Folks that do dumb stuff like this are eventually going to run into the wrong person in the wrong neighborhood, fire shots, and a law-abiding citizen is going to shoot back," the sheriff said. "Idiots like this play a stupid game, and they're apt to claim their stupid prize. Good folks are tired of this garbage."

People who would like to opt for free Nixle Alerts regarding incidents and weather in Spalding County can text 30224 to 888777 or visit spaldingsheriff.org.

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