Gunman fatally shot during South Georgia hostage situation, standoff

A gunman who took two children hostage Sunday during a standoff with South Georgia police was discovered shot when officers forced their way inside a home, authorities said.

LeJune Benjamin Cobb, 38, died after being taken to a hospital. The GBI is still investigating to determine how Cobb was shot.

Five people, including the two children, were held hostage when the standoff began early Sunday at a home on East Oak Street in Cordele, according to GBI special agent Bryan Smith. Cordele police were called to the home to investigate a disturbance about 4:30 a.m. and encountered Cobb inside.

There was an exchange of gunfire, Smith said.

"The officers were able to safely back out of the house," he said in a news release. "Three adults escaped, with Cobb and the children remaining in the residence."

The Crisp County Sheriff’s Office was called in to assist with hostage negotiations. After some time, the children were safely removed from the home, but Cobb remained inside, according to Smith.

“The negotiators had family and friends communicate with Cobb in further attempts to get Cobb to surrender,” he said in the release. “During the negotiations, at least one more exchange of gunfire was initiated by Cobb with officers.”

After several hours, officers with the Tri-County Special Response Team made their way inside the home and discovered Cobb wounded. An autopsy was scheduled to be performed at the GBI’s crime lab in Macon, according to the agency.

No officers were injured during the ordeal, which involved several local law enforcement agencies, the Georgia State Patrol and the GBI’s bomb disposal unit.

It is the 37th officer-involved shooting the GBI has investigated in 2020, agency spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.

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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