Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Two officers killed in apparent ambush

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

The two officers were investigating a suspicious person at the complex when shots rang out, DeKalb County Police Chief Terrell Bolton told The Associated Press.

Authorities were searching for two males seen running from the scene. Police set up a mobile crime unit and were using dogs and a helicopter to search for the suspects.

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

Police were called to the scene around 12:40 a.m. and the arriving officers found the two officers down, Bolton said. One officer was dead at the scene. The other was later pronounced dead at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta, Bolton said.

Bolton said the shooting looked like an ambush.

"It just appeared that they were gunned down without a chance," he said.

Patreka Anderson, a resident of the complex, said she was awakened by the gunshots but did not think anything of it because it 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."

Police closed off a mile-long section of the street in front of the complex and much of it was cordoned off with yellow tape as a crime scene investigators gathered evidence.

About a dozen school children from the complex and their parents waited to see if police would allow a school bus past the cordon in to pick them up.

The slain officers' names were not immediately released. Bolton said one was a two-year veteran and the other had been on the force for four years.

"It's a challenging day for us," Bolton said. "However, today's act of senseless violence is a display of what we're seeing around the country where people will shoot down a police officer without regard to any repercussions."

They were off duty but still were "investigating a suspicious person"? Could that be a cover story cooked up to hide the fact that the two cops were there to score drugs or pick up a couple of prostitutes?

Wouldn't be the first time.

Of course they could also be two heroes who died doing their duty serving their community. Time will tell.