WATCH: Police Chief Lou Dekmar speaks on 18-hour standoff, how LPD handled incident
Published 7:06 pm Wednesday, November 17, 2021
EDITOR’S NOTE: We have corrected this story to clarify that Jessee was a Troup County resident, but was not originally from Troup County.
A man involved in an 18-hour standoff with the LaGrange Police Department and other law enforcement is believed to be dead, according to the LPD.
A body was recovered from the home on Sunny Point Circle where the suspect, Brian Jessee, had barricaded himself Tuesday afternoon into Wednesday morning, and an autopsy will be performed to confirm identity and to determine a cause of death.
The residence was a complete loss, with none of the structure surviving a fire inside the home on Wednesday morning.
Chief Lou Dekmar said that he believes the body found in the house to be Jessee.
“I have no reason to believe that the individual that we found in the house is not the suspect, but we do have a confirmation process we have to go through,” Dekmar said.
Clayton Bryant, serving as the public information officer for the incident, said it was unclear what killed Jessee, as the LPD had also exchanged gunfire with him after he continuously fired at officers. Bryant said the suspect fired over 300 rounds and disabled an armored vehicle. Bryant said that the last gunfire exchange just past midnight on Wednesday.
“We continuously did verbal appeals during this entire process trying to afford him the opportunity to come out peacefully,” Bryant said. “This went on for hours.”
The LPD received 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.
Dekmar said two children were removed from the home on Monday when Jessee had a seizure during a shorter standoff with police.
“We took advantage of the pause in his consciousness to take custody of protective custody of the children and place them with the [Georgia Division of Family & Children Services],” Dekmar said.
Dekmar said that he feels confident that the LPD did its best as the situation continued to evolve over the past 24 hours.
“The result speaks for itself. No one in this neighborhood was injured. No one’s property was compromised except for the individual that was responsible for the conduct that resulted in his death and in the fire,” Dekmar said.
Dekmar highlighted the mental health factor often involved in incidents like this one and said state legislative action may help prevent this situation from occurring in the future.
“The whole challenge of dealing with those affected by mental illnesss, or at least those that are emotionally disturbed, is complicated by the lack of community-based resources,” Dekmar said. “I’m on the State Behavioral Health Commission. And we’ve made specific recommendations that have been filed in a bill and some of that includes community based resources.”
Dekmar said that this incident, while not uncommon, is unusual for LaGrange and Troup County.
“This is, unfortunately, just a sad story. It’s not an uncommon story, but it’s certainly an uncommon story in our [community],” Dekmar said.