The man accused of shooting and killing a Henry County police officer turned the gun on himself seconds before being captured in a Clayton County apartment Tuesday evening, authorities said.
Jordan Jackson, 22, was found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at an apartment complex in Riverdale, Henry police Chief Mark Amerman said during a news conference. Jackson, the subject of a massive five-day manhunt, had been hiding out with friends, the department said.
Jackson barricaded himself in a room and investigators were within feet of him, police said. He then took his own life before being captured.
Jackson was accused of shooting Officer Paramhans Desai last week during an arrest attempt, according to police. Late Monday, the 38-year-old officer died from his injuries, and the hunt for his alleged killer ramped up. The reward increased to $70,000 to find Jackson, but it was not known Wednesday whether anyone was eligible for the money.
“Let this be a warning and reminder to anyone contemplating any crime let alone a crime of this magnitude where it involves one of our own,” Henry Sheriff Reginald Scandrett said in an emailed statement late Tuesday. “It doesn’t matter how many days it takes, how much sleep we lose, we will hunt you down and find you. To the family of Officer Desai, this will not take away the pain but, hopefully, they can get some rest and start the healing process.”
On Tuesday, a coalition of law enforcement agencies, including the Clayton SWAT unit, Henry sheriff’s office, Georgia State Patrol and U.S. Marshals Service, descended on the apartments in the 6700 block of Church Street after Jackson was located around 5 p.m., Amerman said. After conducting surveillance on Jackson, the SWAT unit evacuated residents from the Chateau Forest apartments before entering the unit where Jackson’s body was found.
Desai was shot around 6 p.m. Thursday while investigating a domestic dispute in the area of Keys Ferry Road and Floresta Drive near McDonough, department spokesman Sgt. Anthony Militello said. Jackson fled the scene in a 2016 Honda Civic and became the subject of a GBI blue alert, issued for those accused of assaulting officers.
On Friday, Scandrett announced a $30,000 reward, saying some of it came from NBA legend Shaquille O’Neal, who was named the director of community relations for the sheriff’s office earlier this year. Amerman said Tuesday the Henry police department added an additional $30,000 to that reward. Then late Tuesday, Crime Stoppers Atlanta added an additional $10,000, bringing the total reward to $70,000.
Desai remained in critical condition at Grady Memorial Hospital until shortly before 10 p.m. Monday, when he died with his family by his side, Henry police posted on Facebook.
Desai is the seventh Georgia officer killed in the line of duty this year. He is survived by his wife and two young children. At least two dozen other Georgia officers have died from the coronavirus, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, which tracks law enforcement deaths.
Credit: Henry County police department
Credit: Henry County police department
Desai is the fifth officer with the Henry County police department to be killed while serving. Most recently, Officer Michael Smith died Dec. 28, 2018, about three weeks after being shot. Earlier in 2018, Locust Grove police Officer Chase Maddox was shot and killed while assisting deputies serving a warrant.
Funeral arrangements were pending for Desai. But there were several ways to assist his family, including his wife and two sons.
Desai’s sister wrote on a GoFundMe page that her brother knew as a young child he wanted to be an officer. And that’s exactly what he did, spending 17 years in law enforcement.
“There is always a cost to pay when you pursue a dream, a passion,” his sister wrote. “And my brother was willing to pay that price to become a police officer. He often said he wanted to die as a cop and that’s how his journey ended.”