A Savannah police supervisor was shot and killed Saturday night when he and another officer were ambushed by a robbery suspect.
The officers were looking for a man accused of taking cash and pistol-whipping a victim at a barber shop in central Savannah, according to the GBI. He emerged from a car and opened fire just as Sgt. Kelvin Ansari and Officer Douglas Thomas approached, setting off a manhunt that ended in the gunman’s death.
Thomas’ injuries were minor, but Ansari, 50, was wounded and later died at Memorial Health University Medical Center.
The father of four was a 21-year veteran of the U.S. Army who joined the Savannah Police Department in 2008, police Chief Roy Minter said.
“Last night we lost a great man,” the chief said in a statement released Sunday. “We lost a man who spent a substantial portion of his life protecting the country and protecting the community. We lost a husband, we lost a father, and we lost a leader.”
The suspect, identified as 49-year-old Edward Fuller, was believed to have left the area after the robbery at the Boyz II Men Barber Shop on Bull Street, according to the GBI. Ansari and Thomas went to the scene around 8 p.m. to follow up after receiving a description of Fuller’s vehicle.
They did not know the man was still inside the car, said John Durden, the GBI special agent in charge. Fuller “immediately began firing upon officers,” he said.
He ran off and was tracked to a nearby home.
“During a search of the area for Fuller, Fuller emerged from a shed in the backyard and pointed a handgun at the officers,” Durden said in a statement. “One officer fired his weapon, striking and wounding Fuller. A handgun was recovered from the scene and was determined to have been stolen.”
Fuller was also taken Memorial Health, where he later died.
The Savannah incident was the first of two officer-involved shootings the GBI was called to investigate over the weekend. The second, which occurred in DeKalb County on Sunday morning, was not deadly.
They mark the 32nd and 33rd shootings of 2019, according to the GBI, which investigates most officer-involved shootings. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution also tracks officer-involved shootings that don't involve the GBI, and those numbers sometimes differ from the GBI's tally.
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