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Chief: Suspect in Georgia officer shootings killed himself

AMERICUS, Ga. - Police say a man wanted in the fatal shooting of a Georgia police officer and the wounding of another apparently killed himself as authorities arrived at a home where he was hiding.

Americus Police Chief Mark Scott said at a news conference that 32-year-old Minquell Lembrick was found dead by a SWAT team. Scott said the suspect died from what "appeared to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound." He added the officers heard a gunshot inside the home where Lembrick's body was found before the SWAT team entered.

Lembrick was suspected in the slaying Wednesday of Americus police Officer Nicholas Smarr and the shooting of Georgia Southwestern State University police Officer Jody Smith, who remained in critical condition Thursday.

Scott said police received a tip Thursday morning that led them to Lembrick.

Police identified Lembrick as a suspect in the shootings and offered a $70,000 reward for information leading to his capture. The SWAT team was dispatched to the house in Americus after authorities received a tip, said Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Nelly Miles.

SWAT officers emerged from the home a short time after entering, and police said the manhunt was over.

"It's confirmed that the suspect is dead," Americus police spokeswoman Phyllis Banks told The Associated Press.

She gave no further details, including whether police shot Lembrick or found him dead. Americus Police Chief Mark Scott planned a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Scott said Wednesday that Lembrick had an outstanding arrest warrant charging him with kidnapping and other counts when the two officers encountered him at an apartment complex where a domestic dispute had been reported. But officers didn't know whom they were dealing with when they responded to the 911 call.

After the shootings, Smith was airlifted to a hospital in Macon with critical injuries. Banks said Thursday morning the wounded officer remained in critical condition after undergoing surgery.

Authorities initially gave different spellings for the first names of both Smith and Lembrick, but said Thursday that they had confirmed corrected spellings for each.

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