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Man Shot By Oconee Deputy Identified

Andrew Mayerbach, 42, from New York held two women hostage before being shot and then turning a handgun on himself, officials said at a news conference.

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.

Ms Vetmom February 26, 2011 at 08:29 PM
Andrew was my neighbor from approximately 5 years here in Statham. He was a very scary person. Having threatened me several times in the past, and trying to block me from exiting my residence, I filed a report against him with Barrow County. He lost custody of his children for child abuse. I cant understand why Barrow county did not keep him locked up the last time they had him. He was very dangerous and out of control. No one can tell you more about this mans bad behavior than myself. A year before his incident with Oconee sheriff, I had to call the law to remove him from my driveway at 3 a.m. where he sat for more than an hour with his headlights on my bedroom window, honking his horn. He was a drug user and dealer, and had a very nasty temper. I feel a lot safer now that he is gone.
Kathy Trowbridge March 13, 2013 at 04:46 AM
Doesn't sound like the Andy I grew up with.The Andy I knew was quiet,caring and he wasn't a scary person at all. I'm not sure when things went wrong for him and from what your describing about Andy above doesn't sound like him at all to me, and I want everyone to know Andy also had a pleasant and a very loving side to him as well. I'm not saying what he has done is right but to me every human life is precious and I'm sad that he is gone but I feel Andy was crying out for help and there was no one there for him when he needed help the most, I honestly feel if he had help and some guidance things could have gone better for him. Regardless of what people say that didn't know Andy on a personal level I'll alway's remember Andy for being there for me at my bedside while I was sick, watching over me all through the night to make sure I didn't stop breathing, this is the Andy I knew and will miss dearly. R.I.P Andy and I wish through the years we could've stayed in touch because I would of been there for you through you'r toughest time..
Racer X March 13, 2013 at 12:21 PM
Every human life is precious, as long as they take responsibility for their actions. When they threaten others, then they lose their value. A 42 year old man shouldn't need guidance on how to treat others. If we forced more people to be responsible for their own actions rather than coddling them and making excuses for them, the world would be a much better place. Something went wrong with Andy, but at some point, that becomes Andy's responsibility and no one else's. Sergeant Partain did what he is well trained to do and I applaud his actions. I hope all of our Sheriff's department employees are of his caliber. My thoughts and prayers are with Sergeant Partain and the two women who were held at gunpoint as their lives have been irreversibly affected while Andy has moved on to jackassland. In life there is good and there is evil, then there are those who stand between the two to protect the good. Sergeant Partain is one such man and, therefor, among the most valuable. Thank you Sergeant.

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