Off-duty DeKalb police are killed in apparent ambush

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DECATUR, Ga. --- Two off-duty DeKalb County police officers were killed early Wednesday in what appeared to be an ambush at an apartment complex, police said.

Officers Eric Barker, left, and Ricky Bryant Jr. were each married with four children. They were working as security guards at an apartment complex in a high-crime neighborhood.  Associated Press
Associated Press
Officers Eric Barker, left, and Ricky Bryant Jr. were each married with four children. They were working as security guards at an apartment complex in a high-crime neighborhood.

Ricky Bryant Jr., 26, and Eric Barker, 33, were working as security guards at the complex in what residents described as a high-crime neighborhood. They were investigating a suspicious person there when shots rang out, DeKalb County Police Chief Terrell Bolton said.

Mr. Bryant was a two-year veteran of the department, and Mr. Barker had worked there for four years. Both were married. Each had four children.

Chief Bolton called the shootings a "must-solve crime" at a news conference Wednesday afternoon and urged witnesses to come forward with information.

"Don't lie to us," Chief Bolton said. "Tell us the truth."

Chief Bolton did not say whether the officers returned fire before they were killed, and he did not say what led to the shooting.

"They never had a chance," Chief Bolton said, an indication that the shootings might have been an ambush.

County officials said a $55,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

"These police officers were heroes; they were committed and dedicated to law enforcement," said Vernon Jones, the county chief executive. "We will not rest until those folks responsible for this are apprehended and justice is served."

Authorities were searching for two men seen running from the scene. Police were using dogs and a helicopter to search for the suspects.

"We've got every able body looking for them," Chief Bolton said.

Later, at a news conference, Chief Bolton addressed the gunmen: "If I were you, I'd turn myself in. The sun's coming up. Before sundown, we're gonna find you."

He told reporters the dead officers were wearing their police uniforms.

Police were called to the scene about 12:40 a.m., Chief Bolton said. One officer was already dead. The other was pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, he said.

Schools were locked down during the investigation in the area, about six miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Patreka Anderson, a resident of the complex, said she was awakened by the gunshots but did not think anything of it because the neighborhood around the Glenwood Gardens apartment complex is a high-crime area with a lot of drug activity and prostitution.

"We always hear shooting," she said. "I didn't think that was any big deal."

Teofil Taut, who said he has owned the 176-unit complex for about two years and lives in one of the buildings, said he hired police as part-time security officers in December to keep homeless people from breaking into the apartments.

Another resident, nurse's assistant LaShawn Corbin, said she is considering moving.

"We don't expect the people who try to protect us to be hurt so seriously," she said. Ms. Corbin said she would fear leaving her children there "because the person who did it has no conscience for human life."

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SunDown
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SunDown 01/17/08 - 11:04 am
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I can't help but wonder if

I can't help but wonder if this was a gang initiation killing. I don't pray often, but, I pray these killers are found quickly. I know they will not turn themselves in. I also know what is going to happen when the police catch up with them. They are not going to make it.

christian134
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christian134 01/17/08 - 11:34 am
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When they are found they need

When they are found they need to be taken out in the middle of the courthouse yard, build a hanging arena, march them right out and hang them. This bit of coddling the murderers, child molesters and rapist is wrong. If found guilty hang them all.

intheknow
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intheknow 01/17/08 - 12:02 pm
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I met Officer Bryant while I

I met Officer Bryant while I was in Atlanta this past saturday. Just let you know how quickly things can happen. REST IN PEACE.

Georgiais1
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Georgiais1 01/17/08 - 12:16 pm
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How about the lady that said

How about the lady that said all the shooting that goes on around here is really nothing unusual....What the h...?

charlesmanson
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charlesmanson 01/17/08 - 12:16 pm
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sadly, no one will help law

sadly, no one will help law enforcement IN THAT SCUMBAG APT COMPLEX.remember "don't snitch" what happens in the ghetto stays in the ghetto.remember black folk can't trust the white establishment! yeah! apparently 2 wrongs do make a right.you just shoot whomever you like and keep it to yourselves. yeah, gotta love that kind of community spirit.

rufus
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rufus 01/17/08 - 12:42 pm
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They have 2 in custody

They have 2 in custody looking for a third.

ripjones
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ripjones 01/17/08 - 01:18 pm
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Seven - I don't want them "to

Seven - I don't want them "to make it". Christina134, is completely right. Charlieyounce, I wish it was not like you say, but we all know that it is. The people must want the killings to continue. In DeKalb County, it is not the "white" establishment. The Sheriff is black, and both of the Deputies were, as well. I feel so bad for both of their families. We've got to start standing up to the punks, thugs, and gangs. Take back our homes, streets, neighborhoods, and cities. I'm sorry if I sound like a broken record, but we have to wake up NOW !

pantherluvcik
628
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pantherluvcik 01/17/08 - 02:48 pm
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charlie and rip who said it

charlie and rip who said it was a black neighborhood, or you just assume it is because they said high crime. You know people like you who use savage crimes to make derogatory and racist remarks are the ones who need help. May the lord bless and keep you.

charlesmanson
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charlesmanson 01/17/08 - 03:10 pm
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pantherluvik, i don't live in

pantherluvik, i don't live in georgia anymore, perhaps you can tell me of some white neighborhoods, or housing projects that are considered high crime neighborhoods? lets be real here all of us black and white know who is committing the majority of the crimes in every city big and small.all you have to do is watch the news nightly and read the papers.i don't make the statistics sir, i just comment on them,and they ain't much to brag about.

charlesmanson
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charlesmanson 01/17/08 - 03:24 pm
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pantherluvcik, i haven't

pantherluvcik, i haven't lived in augusta in over 20 years, perhaps you can enlighten me on some white neighborhoods, or projects that are considered "high crime". lets be real here, all of us black and white know who is committing the majority of the crimes in the cities.all you have to do is watch the news and read the papers.we've all heard of the bigger cities and even some places in augusta that cops won't go in after dark.i don't make the statistics sir, i just comment on them, and there ain't much to brag about.

MartinezWest Augusta
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MartinezWest Augusta 01/17/08 - 03:28 pm
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again the news. the media

again the news. the media controls you. what a idiot. The media didnt't show the 20 rapes that happen in columbia county in 2007 either. But does it mean they didn't happen. This is funny your a puppet on a string. The media controls the way you think. Who is the media ran by whites or blacks. So who are they going to show.

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