Suspect shot, killed by police after allegedly killing 4 in Hampton rampage

Man was a veteran who struggled with mental health, mother says
Multiple law enforcement agencies gathered outside of the Hampton Police Department to give an update on the mass shooting and the suspect on Sunday. Photos of the slain victims were shared. (Ben Hendren for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Ben Hendren

Credit: Ben Hendren

Multiple law enforcement agencies gathered outside of the Hampton Police Department to give an update on the mass shooting and the suspect on Sunday. Photos of the slain victims were shared. (Ben Hendren for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

A suspected shooter accused of killing four people during a rampage in a Henry County subdivision was killed by police Sunday, officials said.

U.S. marshals confirmed that 40-year-old Andre Longmore was fatally shot after shooting at least two law enforcement officers as they closed in on him in neighboring Clayton County. The officers are expected to survive.

“The monster is dead,” Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett said during a news conference late Sunday afternoon.

Henry County Sheriff Reginald Scandrett and several other law enforcement leaders gather during a press conference late Sunday afternoon.

Credit: Ben Hendren

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Credit: Ben Hendren

Three men and one woman were killed Saturday as Longmore allegedly opened fire at four different locations in the residential area, where hardly anyone is a stranger. Hampton police have not said what led to the shootings and a motive is unknown.

On Sunday afternoon, authorities from several judications tracked the suspect to the 100 block of Mount Zion Parkway in Clayton, where a shootout ensued. According to Scandrett, Longmore fled on foot and was killed during another exchange of gunfire.

He said the officer with the most severe injury was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital after being shot in the lower back. The officer’s name was not released but he is conscious and talking, deputies said.

Hampton police identified the victims as Scott Leavitt, 67; his wife, Shirley Leavitt, 66; Steve Blizzard, 65; and Ronald Jeffers, 66. The married couple and Blizzard all lived on Dogwood Lakes Drive, while Jeffers lived on Dogwood Ridge Drive.

“I think it’s important we remember the victims,” police Chief James Turner said during Sunday’s news conference.

At Pinecrest Baptist Church in nearby McDonough, where Jeffers was a member, Pastor John Anderson encouraged worshipers to pray for the victims and their families. At the 10 a.m. service Sunday, an ensemble sang the Kirk Franklin song “My Life is in Your Hands,” which was followed by a worshiper leading the congregation in prayer for the Jeffers family.

“I thank you for the faith of the Jeffers family, the testimony of Brother Ron, the kindness he had in his heart,” the prayer leader said as he struggled to keep his composure. Anderson comforted his flock Sunday morning by reminding them that God is with them.

“God, this morning, we still believe you are good,” Anderson said.

Police have not given details about what happened Saturday morning, or the sequence of events as they unfolded. Longmore’s mother, Lorna Dennis, told Channel 2 Action News her son lived with her in the Dogwood Lakes subdivision and struggled with his mental health for the better part of a decade.

A sergeant in the U.S. Army, Longmore sought treatment in a VA hospital after a mental breakdown in 2014, Dennis said. He was hospitalized for 10 days, his mother told the news station.

“And after he came out, he wasn’t the same again,” she said. “He just kept deteriorating until now.”

Andre Longmore was shot and killed by police at the end of a manhunt Sunday evening, police said.

Credit: Hampton Police Department

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Credit: Hampton Police Department

Doctors suspected PTSD or schizophrenia, but Longmore was never on medication for either disorder, according to his mother. Dennis said she tried to get help for her son, but she was told he needed to seek medical attention on his own. Unless he committed a crime or tried to hurt himself, she was told, there was nothing authorities could do for him.

Longmore did not know the victims, she said.

“I feel so much for the families, and that’s why I just want to say I’m very, very sorry,” Dennis told Channel 2. “I know words cannot really comfort them from me at this time, but I know there is a comforter, and they can refer to him at any time.”

Dogwood Lakes resident Frankie Worth said that he was debating whether to cut the grass outside his home on Dogwood Ridge at about 10:45 a.m. He went to a nearby window to look outside.

As Worth started to open the blinds, a loud boom shook his house and echoed through the normally quiet subdivision, causing his hand to slip. Worth regained his composure for a brief moment, before he saw a man on the street holding a handgun — his hands raised in the air from the recoil.

“Now he’s pulling the weapon back down at my neighbor to get a better shot,” Worth told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He said Longmore didn’t need to shoot again.

Jeffers and Longmore were both neighbors of Worth, he said, and lived in separate houses at his partial cul de sac on Dogwood Ridge. Worth saw the victim’s small white vehicle driving slowly and unnaturally after the alleged fatal shot was fired from behind. He said Longmore then continued on foot toward the entrance of the subdivision.

Dogwood Lakes resident Frankie Worth describes how he witnessed the shooting of his neighbor during a mass shooting in Hampton on Saturday.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

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Credit: Steve Schaefer

Worth thought it was a road rage incident at first but said that Longmore was “so calm, so cool and so collected” that it changed his mind. Worth, who identified himself as a Marine Corps veteran, said the way the suspect acted was “textbook military.” His pace quickened and Worth eventually lost sight of him.

“He shot him right in front of my house,” added Worth, who then called police. ”He could have shot at me but didn’t see me. Thank God.”

Longmore was last seen driving a 2017 black GMC Acadia that had been stolen from Blizzard, authorities said. Federal, state and local investigators searched for him and actively received leads before Sunday’s fatal shootout, Hampton Police Capt. Chaundra Brownlee said.

Members of the GBI look over and take pictures of homes that are surrounded by crime scene tapes after a mass shooting in Hampton on Saturday.

Credit: Steve Schaefer

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Credit: Steve Schaefer

Hampton City Manager Alex Cohilas called Saturday “one of the saddest in the 150-year history of this city.” The last homicide recorded in Hampton was in 2018, authorities said.

“The last 36 hours have been very sad and surreal for this community. We had no idea that tragedy would befall this tranquil and peaceful community,” he added. “We tragically lost four citizens and this community is grieving. None of us dreamed this day would come.”

City officials on Sunday discussed the need to pivot toward healing after the shooting. A vigil will be held at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the Terry F. Jones Depot Park in Hampton to honor those who died and their families, Mayor Ann Tarpley said.

“We are asking the entire community to come out and support them and show that we have their back,” she said.

The GBI is continuing to investigate the shooting, police said.

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