Update: Two improvised explosive devices were found Friday by Barrow County Sheriff's Office during their investigation of the crime scene, Oconee County Sheriff's Office reported. University of Georgia Police Department's Explosive Ordinance Disposal team safely detonated the devices, authorities said.
A 42-year-old man originally from New York took an 18-year old woman and her mother hostage at gunpoint in a camper off Jones Road on Thursday before , Oconee County Sheriff Scott Berry said in a news conference on Friday.
Authorities believe Andrew Mayerbach was a tenant of the mother. It is uknown how long he was in Oconee or why, but Berry said Mayerbach was served with civil papers concerning an unrelated traffic accident sometime during the last year. He is believed to have been working as a day laborer, Berry said.
The suspect demanded that the teenager call 911, and five deputies initially responded to the scene about 5:30 p.m. Thursday, said Berry, adding that this case was the first deputy-involved shooting he's encountered in 18 years as a sheriff.
Berry said the teenager escaped through a window and sought refuge at a neighbor's house.
Sgt. Shane Partain, the deputy who shot Mayerbach, had been off duty at the time, but heard the call and was one of the deputies who responded, Berry said. Partain was not in uniform, but was dressed in a red polo shirt bearing the sheriff's office logo and khaki pants, and his badge was visible.
At the scene, deputies called out for the suspect but he did not immediately appear. When he did, deputies say he pointed a handgun at them and Partain fired one shot that hit Mayerbach in the left forearm and the bullet entered his chest, Berry stated. Mayerbach then took his own life, he reported.
The mother was found on the scene with a gunshot wound to her foot and was treated and released from Athens Regional Medical Center, Berry said.
The teenager and her mother have been relocated to a safe location, he reported. Their identities are not being released.
is conducting an internal investigation at the same time the Barrow County Sheriff's Office is working on an outside investigation. Barrow County Sheriff Jud Smith said no timeline could be given, but he has placed the case at the top of the priority list for his office.
"We’re very early in this investigation,” Smith said. “We want to make sure we follow through with this with all the integrity that the sheriff’s office has.”
Berry said in an earlier news release that an initial investigation concluded Partain's actions were justified, but it is standard procedure to conduct an external investigation and communicate all findings with the district attorney's office of the 10th District Western Judicial Circuit.
Meantime, Partain is on his regularly scheduled days off and is to contact the Oconee County Sheriff's Office on Monday about when he is to resume duties, Berry said. Partain is doing well, Berry reported.
Both sheriffs said that two years ago they agreed to assist one another in the event of such an incident involving deputies.