ALBANY, Ga. — Multiple bullets ripped through the air at about 4:07 a.m. Tuesday aimed at responding Albany Police Department officers on the 500 block of Haley Street, police officials said.
One bullet hit 27-year-old Officer Willie Hall in the left forearm, went to his vest and ricocheted to his cellular telephone, said police Chief John Proctor.
“The vest was the lifesaver,” Proctor said. “He is in good shape. He wanted to go back to work tomorrow (Wednesday). We put him on administrative leave as appropriate.”
There are three armed and dangerous suspects in the foiled home invasion, said lead Detective Arthur Tyler. Police have good leads on them and are doggedly tracking them down.
All were black men. One was described by Tyler as standing 6 feet tall while the two others were about 5 feet 8 or 9 inches tall. Dressed in black, they either had masks or wrapped shirts around their faces.
“The suspects went to the wrong apartment,” Proctor said. “They accosted two inhabitants and left to accost two others in another apartment in the complex.”
The first apartment’s residents were 49-year-old Corliss Jones and 50-year-old Arthur Johnson, according to police reports. The second apartment’s residents were 20-year-old Mehailjah Gaines and 29-year-old Kentrayl Harris.
When police arrived, officers sustained gunfire from the rear window of the second apartment, Proctor said. The police held their fire because they do not fire when there are possible hostages at risk, he added.
The gunmen escaped into the dark before Albany Dougherty Metro SWAT entered the apartment, reports stated.
Police did not release any information on the contents of the apartment.
The apartments that have been targeted in the past few months, said a police source close to the investigation, have had money, drugs and guns.
The suspects likely are not strangers to criminal activity, Proctor said. He suspects they are repeat offenders who have been in the system many times, he added.
Proctor would like the criminal justice system to address repeat offenders. The population that offends again and again should not be set free, Proctor said.
As for the current suspects Proctor said, “We were given some very good information. We are following some good leads and are headed in the right direction. The folks we are pursuing will be caught and prosecuted.”
Other officers who came under fire while responding to the home invasion were Torrance Bryant, Richard Brown, Dominic Figueroa, Robert Cannon and Kim Privette.