Lee suspect shot during weekend standoff

LEESBURG -- After a suspect barricaded himself into his home at the Spring Lake Mobile Home Park in Lee County and then threatened officers, a more than two-hour standoff with police ended when the suspect was shot in the leg.

Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals said Jeffery Walls, 45, was shot in the leg twice after he fired on members of the Albany-Dougherty S.W.A.T. unit who were trying to get into the residence at 124 Key Ridge Road.

The sheriff said deputies had arrived at the residence Friday night in response to a distress call.

"Someone had called complaining of chest pains," said Rachals during a telephone interview with The Herald Monday. "Deputies met him (Walls) at the front door and made contact with him. They heard Mr. Walls yelling from the other side of the door."

According to the sheriff, at first Walls told deputies that he was badly injured and could not open the door and for them to enter on their own.

"Then a couple of minutes later, he changed his mind and started threatening to shoot the deputies if they came in," Rachals said.

The sheriff said after Walls' abrupt change, he spent hours trying to talk Walls out of the residence. Rachals said Walls was uncooperative with him and would only talk to the dispatcher on the telephone.

"We tried to communicate over the telephone and over the P.A. system of a cruiser -- he didn't want to talk to me or listen," the sheriff said.

The Albany-Dougherty S.W.A.T. unit was called to try and gain access to the residence.

"As soon as they got in, he fired on them and they fired back," Rachals said. "Unfortunately, he was hit."

Walls was struck twice in the leg by bullets and was transported to the hospital for treatment.

The case has been turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Trebor Randle, GBI assistant special-agent-in-charge, confirmed Monday afternoon that the GBI is investigating the shooting in Lee County, but would not address any details of the case because it is still under investigation.