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Decatur Sheriff: Armed Gunmen shot into Brinson home, deputy remains in critical condition

Posted at 2:09 AM, Mar 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 02:09:13-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — For Jesse Whitley, keeping his family safe was his priority Saturday night when two men shot more than a dozen bullets into his home hoping to break in.

"They shot through the door. They continued shooting around this door," said Whitley.

Those men are being identified by the Decatur County Sherrif as Troy and Brad Phillips, who lead deputies on a high-speed chase into Brinson, Georgia. When they started shooting at the home, Whitley grabbed his gun and fired back.

"I wasn't trying to kill anybody, I was just trying to make sure that they would leave," said Whitley.

The chase started in Seminole County. ABC 27 is told the men in the white pickup truck took off when deputies tried to stop for reckless driving. Sheriff Wiley Griffin says they topped speeds of 81 miles-per-hour. After crashing through Whitley's fence, they started shooting at the patrol cars injuring Decatur Deputy Justin Bedwell.

"It's an incredibly sad event, and an incredibly unnecessary event. But we are relieved we can get the person out of the community and Brinson can sleep tonight," said Chief Deputy Wendell Cofer.

Brad Phillips was taken into custody shortly after the chase ended. His brother, Troy Phillips was arrested Sunday afternoon after leading the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Decatur County Sheriff's and 20 other law enforcement agencies on a 17 hour manhunt. He was found in the woods about 400 yards from Whitley's home.

Chief Deputy Cofer saying what happened Saturday evening is unfortunate, but is thankful for the prayers for their deputy

"Tremendous. It's been tremendous," said Chief Deputy Cofer.

Justin Bedwell is still at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare where he had surgery this Saturday morning. We're told he's in critical condition.