MOULTRIE, Ga. — Five officers fired their weapons after Lynn Patterson shot at them on Wednesday, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said on Monday.
In a press release delivered by email about 5 p.m., GBI Special Agent in Charge Jamy Steinberg named the officers: Fernando Hernandez of the Moultrie Police Department; Blake Livings, Kristopher Sutton and Ivon Folsom, all of the Colquitt County Sheriff’s Office; and Josh Smith of the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office.
Because of the time the release was delivered, The Observer was unable to determine if any of those officers are on administrative leave, which is typical in an investigation like this.
Patterson remains hospitalized and is recovering from non-life-threatening wounds, Steinberg said.
The GBI is still completing interviews and gathering evidence from witnesses and law enforcement who responded, Steinberg said.
Also on Monday, the Moultrie Police Department released the initial incident report filed by its officers.
MPD Officer Jenny Reyes appears to have been the first officer on the scene.
“Upon arrival I observed two male subjects at the front driver’s side door of a vehicle located on the right side of the front yard,” Reyes wrote in her report. “An older male sat in the driver’s seat, and the other younger male stood at the open door of the vehicle.
“As I exited my vehicle, the younger subject turned around and told me not to approach them or enter the yard. I observed that the younger male had a knife in his hand and was holding the older male at knife point. I did not approach the males in order not to agitate and worsen the situation to where the older male could have been injured.”
Reyes said she told the men she was there to help and asked what the trouble was. The younger man, later identified as Lynn Patterson, responded but his voice was so low that she couldn’t understand what he was saying.
The man with the knife stabbed at the driver’s side door while he was talking, Reyes reported.
As the younger man walked toward the house, Reyes coaxed the older man out of the car and over to where she was standing.
The man identified himself as Bernard Patterson and said Lynn Patterson was “on dope,” Reyes said.
“Bernard … stated that Lynn believed that he and another male killed Lynn’s girlfriend,” Reyes’ report said. “Bernard advised that Lynn’s girlfriend had left because she was afraid of him.”
Two other officers arrived, and about that time Lynn Patterson came out of the residence with a gun, Reyes said. The GBI has previously identified the gun as a deer rifle.
The officers and Bernard Patterson took cover behind one of the patrol cars, and the officers drew their sidearms, according to both Reyes’ report and the report from Officer Nathaniel Hendry.
“During that time Mr. Lynn Patterson pointed the rifle at us saying, ‘Shoot me! Shoot me!’ but we did not fire at him,” Hendry wrote.
The officers tried to talk Lynn Patterson into putting down the rifle, but he did not.
Hendry said Lynn Patterson got into a Chevrolet Tahoe that was parked nearby and backed it up so that the vehicle was pointed toward the officers. He was in the vehicle only a short time before getting out and going to a utility shed.
Reyes said she asked Bernard Patterson if there were more weapons or ammunition in the shed, and he said he didn’t think so.
After that, Lynn Patterson entered the residence and Hendry ran to the Tahoe and took the keys out then moved his patrol car farther down the street so he could get a better view of the back of the house.
As more law enforcement units arrived, Reyes was ordered to retrieve “bean bag” rounds. These are non-lethal ammunition fired from a shotgun that can stun a target, giving officers time to get close and take him into custody. She said she did so, and when she returned other officers were staging.
Reyes said she was then instructed to start taking other calls, so she left the scene.
Hendry said Lynn Patterson came out of the house, pointing the rifle in the direction of officers, but again no one fired. It isn’t clear whether that was before or after Reyes left.
Hendry described repositioning himself several times to get near the back door of the house.
“My last position was with Deputy Blake on the property covering behind a vehicle,” he said. “This was where I was when Mr. Lynn chose to come out and point his rifle at the officers and was taken down near the backside of the house.
“Officers walked up on Mr. Lynn after the firing finished, cleared him of the weapon and began to give him medical assistance,” Hendry said.
Reyes was clearly gone before Lynn Patterson was shot, and Hendry’s report does not specifically say that Lynn Patterson fired at officers. The GBI summary released early in the investigation said he fired at least one round and the officers returned fire.
No officers were injured in the incident, the GBI said.
When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Colquitt County District Attorney’s Office for review.