DECATUR COUNTY, Ga. (WTXL) — A longtime Decatur County deputy has died after an officer-involved shooting in Brinson Saturday night.
Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin confirmed that Lieutenant Justin Bedwell died Monday morning after getting emergency surgery in Tallahassee on Sunday.
Lt. Bedwell was a 19-year veteran of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office.
According to Sheriff Griffin, he was a patrol commander, training officer, and "a highly valued member of the Command Staff."
"He trained many of the younger deputies that currently work for this community. Lieutenant Bedwell will be truly missed and we are devastated by his passing," Sheriff Griffin wrote in a post shared on Facebook. "Please continue to pray for Lieutenant Bedwell’s family, the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, and our community."
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp also expressed his condolences on social media following the news of Bedwell's death.
On behalf of all Georgians, the Kemp Family sends our heartfelt prayers to Lt. Bedwell’s family, loved ones, and fellow officers in light of this heartbreaking news. His heroic sacrifice and dedicated service will not be forgotten. https://t.co/7rNPZQgGnO— Governor Brian P. Kemp (@GovKemp) March 1, 2021
Lt. Bedwell was flown to Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare for surgery after being shot under his arm, according to DCSO.
According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the shooting happened near U.S. Highway 84 and State Road 310 on Saturday, February 27, stemming from a car chase that began in Seminole County.
Seminole County deputies tried to pull over a white Chevrolet pickup truck for reckless driving Saturday night when the suspects inside the vehicle, 41-year-old Brad Phillips and his 40-year-old brother Troy Arthur Phillips, opened fire.
Decatur County deputies joined the chase once it crossed over into the county, where the suspects attempted to break into a Decatur County home by shooting through the door.
However, the homeowner returned fire and the suspects drove away.
The GBI said that as another Decatur County deputy, Lt. Bedwell, was arriving in the area, one of the suspects shot at the deputy’s vehicle, hitting the deputy.
A Seminole County deputy was also injured in the incident and was treated and released, the Seminole County Sheriff's Office announced Sunday.
One of the suspects, 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 massive 17-hour manhunt.