Tafahree Maynard, suspect in killing of Georgia officer, shot dead after manhunt
SNELLVILLE, Ga. — Police say an officer shot and killed the man charged in the shooting death of an Atlanta-area police officer. Gwinnett County police Chief Butch Ayers says 18-year-old Tafahree Maynard was fatally shot Monday after officers found him in a shed behind a home following a two-day manhunt.
Maynard was the second of two men charged in the fatal shooting Saturday of Gwinnett County police Officer Antwan Toney.
The officer's shooting happened near a middle school about 25 miles northeast of Atlanta in the Snellville area when Toney was responding to a report of a suspicious car parked near the school. When the officers approached, someone in the vehicle opened fire and Toney was hit. Then the vehicle sped off.
Police have said they believe Maynard fired the fatal shot. A second suspect, 19-year-old Isaiah Pretlow, was charged with aggravated assault for allegedly pointing a gun at an officer during the pursuit after Toney's fatal shooting, police had said earlier.
According to police, Pretlow drove the vehicle away after the shooting, crashed a short distance away and fled along with other occupants. An officer searching the area later encountered Pretlow around p.m. Pretlow pointed a gun at the officer, who fired shots, according to a statement. Pretlow was not hit and fled into some woods. He was subsequently taken into custody by U.S. Marshals as the search for Maynard continued.
Ayers said officials received a tip early Monday morning that Maynard was in a nearby neighborhood in Snellville. About 75 to 90 officers swarmed the area in an attempt to set up a perimeter and went door to door, talking to residents and checking sheds and other structures.
Two officers received permission from homeowners to search a closed shed behind their property, and when the officers opened it up, they saw Maynard inside, Ayers said. Maynard refused to follow commands to show his hands, and one of the officers Tasered him, according to Ayers. Officers then saw a long metal lawnmower blade in Maynard's hand, and the second officer opened fire.
Ayers said Maynard was within 5 or 6 feet of the officers when he was shot and killed.
"I would like to say that the danger to the community is over," Ayers said.
Ayers said his department will now turn their attention to supporting Toney's family. He described Toney as a "shining star" in the Gwinnett County police department who did his job with a smile. The 30-year-old from Southern California had been with the department for nearly three years, serving in his first police job.
"The people that worked with Officer Toney on a daily basis recalled a very jovial person who was dedicated to his job and dedicated to his community," Ayers said.
Ayers said he's asked the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to investigate the suspect's shooting by officers.
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