“I stand by the actions of our officers who were forced in the line of duty to protect themselves as they bravely entered the home to rescue the victim,” Chief Charles Barranco said at a news conference Friday.
Public Safety and the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call of shots fired at in the 200 block of Cherry Hills Drive around 10:15 a.m. They found Craig Jarvis, 64, of Woodside Plantation Drive, armed with a gun.
After Jarvis fired his weapon, officers inside the home returned fire. Jarvis was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital, where he later died from his wounds.
Officers then discovered the body of the homeowner, 68-year-old Lynn Carlisle, Jarvis’ ex-wife, dead inside her home. Police believe Jarvis shot Carlisle.
No officers were injured in the shooting.
Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton said preliminary autopsy findings showed Jarvis died from multiple gunshot wounds, “both self inflicted and as a result of his encounter with police.”
Carlisle’s death was ruled a homicide, Carlton said.
Master Public Safety Officer Jennifer L. Bickel, Sgt. Craig Burgess, Cpl. Jeremy Hembree, Master Public Safety Officer P. Steven Miano and Detective Martin E. Sawyer have been reassigned while SLED conducts its investigation.
Two Aiken County sheriff’s officers, Sgt. Chris Chavous and Investigator Riley Bost, are on administrative leave until they can be cleared in a medical evaluation.
Aiken County sheriff’s Capt. Troy Elwell said the officers were on the team that entered the home but they did not fire their weapons. The sheriff’s office has recommended a mental evaluation as a precaution.
“We hope to have those guys back in a day or two,” Elwell said.
Rob Johnston, a resident of Aiken and Atlanta, attended the news conference in search of answers about the former couple he called friends.
Johnston said he had heard the news Thursday in Atlanta and returned to find out more about the two “great people” he had been friends with for approximately six years.
“I can’t even believe (Jarvis) was capable of that, but obviously he was,” he said.
Carlisle was an artist specializing in animal paintings. Collections of her work have been shown in the United States, England and Australia, according to her Web site. Jarvis was retired.
Carlisle and Jarvis each had two daughters from previous relationships and several grandchildren.
The couple had been married for approximately 10 years before divorcing a year and a half ago. Since then, Johnston said, there had been some issues with reconciliation but nothing violent.
Aiken Public Safety said there are no previous reports of domestic issues involving the couple.