Man indicted, accused of shooting at Georgia State Patrol helicopter

Terry Kielisch

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Terry Kielisch

A man has been indicted on federal charges after he allegedly shot a Georgia State Patrol helicopter with a rifle while it was involved in a federal law enforcement operation.

Terry Kielisch, 55, of Blythe, last month pleaded not guilty in Richmond County Superior Court to two counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer, two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and one count of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

The new federal indictment, announced Friday, charges him with assaulting a person assisting an officer of the United States, damaging an aircraft, use of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person.

According to the indictment, a GSP trooper was piloting the helicopter March 12. A Richmond investigator was a passenger in the aircraft, according to the indictment.

“The aircraft was providing support for Operation Gunsmoke, a sweep of defendants accused of drug trafficking and illegal firearms possession in Georgia and South Carolina,” U.S. Attorney Bobby L.Christine said.

The indictment alleges Kielisch shot at the helicopter with a rifle — a .308-caliber Remington 770.

Neither the trooper nor the investigator was injured during the incident.

“This assault had potentially deadly consequences for the officers conducting their law enforcement duties,” Christine said. “Our office will vigorously prosecute anyone who would harm or attempt to harm the professionals who protect our communities.”

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