Peach County deputy killed, another wounded in shootout

- The Georgia Bureau of Investigation responded to a shooting Sunday afternoon in Byron, Georgia that killed one sheriff's deputy and wounded another. 

It happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday when two Peach County Sheriff's deputies responded to a neighborhood near the intersection of Hardison Road and Highway 42. 

Sgt. Patrick Sondron, 41, was pronounced dead at 6:40 p.m. at the Peach County Medical Center, according to Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks, .

As of Sunday night, Deputy Daryl Smallwood remained hospitalized at Navicent Health, a hospital in Macon.

According to the GBI, Sondron and Smallwood  responded to a report of a dispute among neighbors. Two people were riding up and down the street on an ATV and a motorcycle when a man, identified as Ralph Stanley Elrod, came out of his home to confront them. The GBI said Elrod threatened them with a gun. 

The two people went home and called 911. The deputies responded to the scene and spoke to the callers before going to Elrod's house. As soon as the deputies parked their cars in the driveway and stepped out of their vehicles, Elrod opened fire, the GBI reported.

The two neighbors who had allegedly been threatened saw the shooting and dialed 911 again to report the downed officers. 

Law enforcement officers from several agencies responded to the scene and returned fire, striking Elrod in the abdomen.

Officers took Elrod into custody and transported him to Navicent Health for treatment. 

"These guys came out here to help people. That's what's troubling to me," said GBI Agent J.T. Ricketson.

Byron is about 90 miles south of Atlanta.

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