- Steve Visser The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A DeKalb County sheriff’s dragnet last summer may have prompted a shooting at a deputy’s house last week, Sheriff Jeffry Mann said Tuesday.
Mann said he didn’t have any concrete evidence that his crime crackdown in August and the shooting last week were related. But he suspected the two events were linked because the deputy lived in the dragnet area and had a sheriff’s vehicle at his house.
The Dec. 15 shooting at the unnamed deputy’s home could have been a “random act” of retaliation, possibly gang related, Mann said at a news conference Tuesday.
Five bullets hit the deputy’s garage, one hit his marked SUV and another hit a window of the home right where the deputy was sitting, Channel 2 Action News reported.
The deputy and his family were not harmed. The sheriff’s office is offering a $5,000 reward on top of the up to $2,000 offered by CrimeStoppers for tips leading to the arrest of any shooters.
Mann said that a businessman’s email saying that the “criminals are winning” prompted him to order the Aug. 5 dragnet of 25 deputies to sweep up criminals near Lithonia High School to reassure the public.
The targeted area had 140 residential burglaries, four business burglaries, 41 auto thefts, 22 robberies of pedestrians, six aggravated assaults and 103 simple assaults and other crimes this year through Dec. 16, according to sheriff’s office statistics.
Deputies set up roadblocks in a half-mile radius around the Marbut and Phillips roads intersection, Mann said. The day-long sweep netted three felony arrests and 10 arrests for misdemeanors and three confiscated weapons, Mann said. Deputies also issued 34 tickets, including ones for driving without a license, no automobile insurance or failure to use a child-safety seat, Mann said.