A Calhoun police officer was shot at a downtown gas station on Tuesday afternoon, leading to him and another officer returning fire on the female shooter, striking and killing her.
According to GBI Public Affairs Director Nelly Miles:
Calhoun police officer Joe Yother sustained a non-life threatening injury after a bullet struck him in the arm. A projectile hit his cellphone in his chest pocket. He was taken to Hamilton Medical Center in Dalton for treatment, according to Calhoun Police Chief Tony Pyle. Yother has worked in law enforcement for 25 years.
The initial GBI investigation determined Calhoun police officer Jeremy Thompson came in contact with a woman inside the BP gas station at 312 N. Wall St. around 3 p.m. when he helped her pay for cigarettes by offering some change. When he was leaving the store, he smelled marijuana and came into contact with Tameka LaShay Simpson, 27, of Columbus, who was the passenger in a vehicle driven by the woman Thompson had helped.
Thompson called in to dispatch to report her vehicle as suspicious, prompting an additional officer to be sent out. Yother then arrived as backup.
Thompson approached the women and asked for identification. At this point, Simpson pulled a firearm out of the vehicle's glove compartment and began firing shots at police, striking Yother. Police then returned fire, striking and killing Simpson.
The driver was taken into custody by Calhoun police on charges unrelated to the shooting.
An autopsy will be performed on Simpson's body at the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur.
The Calhoun Police Department requested the GBI to investigate the shooting.
“They want an independent look at it,” Miles said during a press conference at the BP station on Tuesday night.
Miles said this case was the 88th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been requested to investigate this year.
Greg Ramey, the special agent in charge at the GBI’s Region 1 office in Calhoun, said it had been two years since the last officer-involved shooting in Calhoun.
Once the GBI investigation is complete, the findings will be turned over to the Cherokee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review.
Correction: This report has been changed to reflect that Calhoun police officer Jeremy Thompson was the initial responding officer at the BP gas station at 312 N. Wall St.