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Suspect charged with shooting Southaven officer captured after hours-long manhunt

Updated: May. 25, 2021 at 11:23 PM CDT
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ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. (WMC) - Multiple law enforcement agencies spent hours in St. Francis County searching for a suspect from Georgia who shot a Southaven police officer Tuesday.

“He was found in the woods behind the house he was seen running into after he crashed the car,” said St. Francis County Sheriff Bobby May.

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May says Cody Demmitt was behind that house for hours. He said family was not in the house and the suspect was never inside.

“What kind of shape was he in. Pretty bad shape. I mean obviously out in the woods ticks chiggers eating him up,” said May.

Neighbors like Michael Elliott took notice of the enormous law enforcement presence early in the day with FBI, U.S. marshals, Arkansas state police, and more. Word got out quickly.

My neighbor called and said the police were chasing somebody and just came back and checked on my family, I seen all the cops and said they had him cornered in the woods,” said neighbor Michael Elliot. “Talking to a deputy and his radio, police said he was running parallel to County Roads 130. That’s when they all come over here and that’s where they’re circling.”

But despite possibly having an eye on the suspect, Demmitt evaded law enforcement until around 7:30 p.m. The rural road between farm fields near Palestine is where the search went on for hours.

This all started around 12:45 p.m. in Southaven when a deputy in an unmarked car spotted a car with a suspect wanted out of the Atlanta area. The car stopped in Memphis near Mallory and Riverport where investigators say Demmitt shot the Southaven officer in the arm. Authorities say he then took the officers unmarked car and headed into Arkansas, crashing on the rural road near Palestine.

Cobb County, Georgia law enforcement says Demmitt was wanted after a bizarre incident Saturday.

They say he was denied entrance to a party next door to his house in the Atlanta area. Witnesses there said Demmitt didn’t take that rejection well and started shooting.

“Bullets were coming from everywhere, the kitchen sink. They were coming from both ways like we were ambushed. Like they wanted us to run out of the house so they could mow us down,” said a neighbor.

One man was hit, but not seriously injured. The Southaven police officer was treated at the Regional One Medical Center and released.

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