UPDATED: Fire out at suspect’s home, but standoff continues

Published 11:03 pm Tuesday, November 16, 2021

10:30 AM UPDATE: The suspect is dead, according to the LPD. Link to full story: https://www.lagrangenews.com/2021/11/17/lpd-suspect-dead-after-18-hour-standoff/


9 AM UPDATE: The LaGrange Police Department held a press conference Wednesday morning to update the ongoing standoff.

Clayton Bryant, serving as public information officer for the LPD, said the situation was still ongoing, but that parts of the Moss Creek subdivision were about to be reopened.

“We feel we have the scene reduced to the area surrounding the home,” Bryant said. “We are not opening up yet, but will be opening up Moss Creek to Moss Creek residents. Sunny Point Circle itself will remain closed because officers did engage. This does qualify as an officer involved shooting. Because of that the GBI will come in and work their investigation and we will work a concurrent administrative investigation on our involvement.”

Bryant said once Moss Creek is open there will be roughly 30 homes that are still inaccessible for the time being. At the scene Wednesday, some of the other law enforcement agencies brought into assist were leaving the area.

“We still have not made entry into the house,” Bryant said.

The house was on fire Wednesday morning, with a lot of smoke visible. Bryant said it’s unclear how the fire started, but fire personnel put the blaze out and he said the scene is stabilized.

“We feel like it’s neutralized based on the damage from the fire, and again, the immediate threat area would be Sunny Point Circle, but we feel like we can safely filter folks back into Moss Creek here shortly,” Bryant said.

Bryant said he would not speculate if the suspect was still alive. He said the armored vehicles and robots had pierced the exterior of the home to try to gain entry, so he knew the home was damaged from those attempts and the fire, but he was not sure how severe the damage was.

Bryant said the suspect is believed to have had explosives, believed to be tannerite inside the home, as well as ammunition for multiple firearms.

Bryant said they exchanged gunfire with the suspect just before midnight, but he’s unsure if the suspect had been shot.

“That was the last exchange that we had with him directly with both the armored vehicles and the GBI’s robot, we have not laid a visual on him at this point,” Bryant said.

He said the LPD had turned the power on and off to the home at different points for a tactical advantage. He said the LPD was holding up well despite the long duration — over 17 hours — of the standoff.

“Community support has been great. People have brought us food. I was in the inner perimeter of this ordeal and the neighbors who did remain brought us sandwiches and waters,” Bryant said. “… Very few people have had to be in this for the duration of the 17 or 18 hours, whatever it is now. We’ve been able to work in shifts.”


UPDATE: A standoff at Sunny Point Circle continued into Wednesday morning, now over 16 hours since it began.

“The barricaded situation continues,” said LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar. “We are using a variety of resources to bring this to a conclusion that ensures none of the individuals who live in that community or our officers are injured.”

Dekmar also said he hopes that the situation will be resolved soon so residents displaced for their safety can return home.

“I am hopeful that we will have this wrapped up sooner rather than later,” he said.


WEDNESDAY NIGHT STORY:

A standoff continues at 118 Sunny Point Circle into Tuesday night — roughly eight hours into a standoff between police and a man who has barricaded himself in his home.

The suspect, Brian Jessee, has been barricaded in his home all afternoon and has fired shots at police, according to a LaGrange Police Department press release.

The standoff actually stems back to an incident Sunday at approximately 12:50 p.m. in reference to a welfare check on two 8-year-old children who were possibly inside the residence with Jessee, who was threatening to commit suicide.

The LPD said that matter was resolved when the children were safely removed from the residence.

On Tuesday, the LPD initiated commitment proceedings for a mental health evaluation for Jessee and received a court order. Before the order could be served, credible information was received that led LPD to obtain arrest warrants for six counts of felony terroristic threats, one count of Cruelty to a Child in Second Degree and one count of felony obstruction.

LPD learned that Jessee had multiple firearms and explosives inside the residence. Based on that, at approximately 3 p.m., LPD began evacuating residents from the area. While evacuating the neighborhood, Jessee was observed in the 100 block of Sunny Point Circle with an AR-15, per LPD. Jessee fired rounds from that rifle putting officers and residents in imminent danger. Incident command and a perimeter was immediately established and additional public safety resources were deployed, including assistance from the Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, Newnan Police Department, Peachtree City Police Department and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Explosives Division.

Over the next several hours, officers made multiple attempts to contact Jessee in order to safely resolve the incident. They were met with additional gunfire. Jessee then retreated into his residence where he has remained barricaded. Officers attempted to make entry into the residence with use of an armored vehicle but were met with gunfire for over an hour. Officers had also deployed CS gas and smoke in an effort to minimize the risk of danger to Jessee and the officers.