Laurens County Deputy Shot During Active Shooter Situation

Laurens County Deputy shot

Laurens County Deputy Shot During Active Shooter Situation

Dublin, GA –  One Hero Laurens County Deputy, Matt Surine, age 25, was shot after responding to an active shooter situation at Fairview Park Hospital shortly after 9 p.m. on Sunday, December 18, 2016.  The suspect was not injured and is in custody.

According to Tim Chatman, Dublin Police Chief, Dublin Police Officers and Lauren County Deputies responded to the hospital for a report of an active shooter.  Upon arrival, they made contact with the active shooter, identified as Akeem Jamal Woodard, age 28.  Gunfire was exchanged between the law enforcement officers and Woodard, and Hero Laurens County Deputy Surine was shot in the lower leg.  He is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.  LCSO Surine has worked for the agency since 2012.  The hospital was placed on lockdown but re-opened around midnight.

Woodard was located in the area hiding behind a hedge shortly after the incident.  He was taken into custody and remains in the Lauren County Jail.  Woodard was charged with Aggravated Assault, Possession of Firearm by Felon, and Criminal Damage and Destruction.  He also has a pending charge of Armed Robbery.  He appeared before a Magistrate Judge this morning and his bond was denied.  Woodard was known by hospital personnel. Police Chief Chatman said “He had been there Thursday and stayed overnight because of some issues he was having. We don’t know why he came back.”  The hospital and surrounding area was searched thoroughly after the incident until it could be confirmed that Woodard acted alone.  His motive for the shooting is unknown.

It is well-known in the law enforcement world that the best way to prepare for situations is to train.  About two weeks ago, Laurens County Sheriff’s Office Deputies participated in Active Shooter training at Fairview Park Hospital.  This is exactly why it is imperative that we have real-life “active” training available for officers, and that every agency should include this type of training.  That training may very well have saved lives last night.  When those officers responded to the hospital last night, it was not for training purposes; it was for real.  Chief Chatman said “We did what we were trained to do.  You have no way of knowing what you have to implement,” during an active shooter situation. “They did an excellent job following the training.”

Chief Chatman also said “We’re proud that Fairview Park, the staff, the nurses, how they dealt with the situation with patients and people there to be seen by doctors, they handled it very well.”  According to Dublin Mayor Phil Best, “The active shooter training undertaken by Fairview Park Hospital just a few weeks ago no doubt helped prepare those involved.”  No patients or staff at the hospital were injured during the incident.  The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation.

This year has been particularly hard on Georgia law enforcement.  In the second week of December, 2016, six officers were shot within six days in three unrelated incidents.  Two of those officers died.  The shooting of Fallen Hero Laurens County Deputy Matt Surine marks the seventh Georgia law enforcement officer shot this month. Throughout the state of Georgia, eight law enforcement officers have made the ultimate sacrifice this year.

We send thoughts and prayers to fallen Hero Laurens County Deputy Matthew Surine, his family and family in blue.  We commend him for his courage and commitment.  We also commend the area law enforcement agencies and Fairview Park Hospital for their mutual training and commitment to work together to do the best job possible.

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