BYRON, Ga. - Deputies in Crisp County gathered to pray Sunday night after two members of the Peach County Sheriff's Office were shot in the line of duty. Investigators said a shooter ambushed the two deputies, killing one and critically injuring the other.
It happened around 5:30 p.m. Sunday when the two Peach County Sheriff's deputies responded to a neighborhood near the intersection of Hardison Road and Highway 42. Sergeant 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 early Monday morning, Deputy Daryl Smallwood remained hospitalized at Navicent Health, a hospital in Macon.
Sunday night, the Crisp County Sheriff's Office, located about an hour south of Peach County, shared several photos on Facebook of deputies coming together in prayer.
"Deputy Daryl Smallwood, a former Crisp County Deputy, is fighting for his life," the Crisp County Sheriff's Office said. "Please keep these and all our men and women in blue in your prayers."
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.