Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Fugitive Suspected of Shooting Whitfield Deputy, Gordon County Resident, CAPTURED

Sheriff Mitch Ralston Reports:

On Monday, September 7, a Whitfield County deputy sheriff was shot during the stop of a stolen vehicle near the Whitfield County-Gordon County line. This triggered a manhunt for 2 suspects, one of whom was captured Tuesday in Whitfield County. The intensive fugitive operation covered a large area in southern Whitfield County and northern Gordon County. The manhunt continued, around the clock, into Wednesday. the search ultimately involved over 150 local, state, and federal peace officers from Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office, Gordon County Sheriff’s Office, Murray County Sheriff’s Office, Bartow County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd County Sheriff’s Office, Floyd County Police, Chattooga County Sheriff’s Office, Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit Drug Task Force, Fairmount Police, Chatsworth Police, Tunnel Hill Police, Lafayette Police, and Calhoun Police; the Georgia State Patrol (GSP) troopers, SWAT Team, and Aviation Units, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), Georgia Department of Corrections K9 Units, Georgia Department of Community Supervision, and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the United States Marshals Service. GSP helicopters were continuously deployed, along with ground teams and officers mounted on ATVs, as were search dogs from many jurisdictions. At about 5pm today, deputies and officers from the various agencies responded to the report of a gunshot wound victim at Cline Road/Airport Circle. This individual was removed by ambulance and is reported to be in stable condition at a nearby hospital. The area was rapidly cordoned off by officers and the manhunt intensified. The perimeter was strengthened by additional officers continually arriving from other jurisdictions. Several dog teams were deployed in the densely wooded and swampy area. At about 10:30pm, the fugitive Dalton Lee Potter, age 29, of Leakey, Texas was located in a heavily overgrown area and apprehended without incident. He was removed from the scene and turned over to the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.  Sheriff Ralston commended all of the officers that participated in the manhunt, saying that in his 30+ years of law enforcement, he’d never seen this large number of officers and agencies come together this quickly and efficiently to reach a shared goal. The sheriff also praised the Emergency Management, Fire/Rescue, E911 communications, and emergency medical personnel who tirelessly supported the operation. Sheriff Ralston said his thought and prayers are with both shooting victims, and thanked all of the citizens who aided in the search with information.

Shown here (left-to-right) at a press conference at the command center at Carbondale are: (Gordon County) Sheriff Mitch Ralston, (Whitfield County) Sheriff Scott Chitwood, and GBI Region 1 Special Agent in Charge Joe Montgomery announcing the apprehension of Dalton Lee Potter: