Manhunt ends in arrests following officer shooting

Published 8:14 pm Sunday, February 28, 2021

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The manhunt for wanted criminal Troy Phillips ended on Sunday, February 28, after the Lowndes County K9 unit flushed him out of the woods near Nalls Road.

Phillips was wanted for aggravated assault on a police officer, including Decatur County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Justin Bedwell, who remains in critical condition.

Phillips’ shooting rampage began on Saturday night when Seminole County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Garrett Wooten and Lee Owens attempted to pull over a vehicle for speeding. The occupants, later identified as Phillips and his brother, Brad then began shooting at Wooten and Lee as they sped away.

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Wooten’s driver’s side windshield was shot, with some of the fragments of glass injuring him. However, Wooten and Owens continued pursuit, with the vehicle headed into Brinson.

The brothers attempted to hide the vehicle by pulling into a residence. They shot off their gun several times, alerting the homeowners of what was happening. The homeowner reportedly grabbed his pistol and returned fire as the Phillips brothers attempted to shoot the lock off the door.

During the exchange of shots, Bedwell arrived on scene, where he was shot with a rifle through his driver’s side door.

Sheriff Wiley Griffin said the bullet went through Bedwell’s bullet proof vest and hit the side of his chest.

After shooting Bedwell, the brothers continued driving and eventually lost control on Nalls Road.

Deputies and EMS rushed to Bedwell’s aid and he was life flighted to Tallahassee, where he underwent emergency surgery.

As the deputies and other agencies poured in, officers began to set up a perimeter around the woods, where the brothers wrecked their car, making sure neither Phillips brother would be able to get out. Officers witnessed Brad run north, while Troy ran west.

Brad was found in a matter of time.

Georgia State Patrol utilized their FLIR (Forward Looking Infra-Red) camera system on their helicopter and found Brad lying in an open field.

GSP and Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) arrested Brad, while the Leon County helicopter and all other units continued to look for Troy.

Troy was finally found by the Lowndes County K9 unit, who flushed him out before they deployed their K9 and arrested him.

Troy and Brad are facing several charges with the most serious being aggravated assault on a police officer.

“We appreciate all the cooperation from state, local and federal offices,” Griffin said. “We had between 19-20 federal, state and local law enforcement officers and police officers out there helping us.”

Griffin is also thankful for the kind words and outpouring of prayers for Bedwell.

Bedwell is currently in an induced coma, however his fellow brother and sister officers have been visiting him, hoping their presence brings him some comfort during this time.