Police: Second person charged in connection with shooting of Cobb officer

A second person has been arrested in connection with Tuesday’s shooting of a Cobb County police officer during a traffic stop near Marietta.

The officer was shot about 2:30 a.m. when he stopped a blue Volvo in front of an office building on Powers Ferry Road between Windy Hill Road and I-285.

Officer C.A. Vill was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital, where he was in good condition Tuesday afternoon, Cobb police Sgt. Dana Pierce said.

“We now have in custody one individual we believe is going to be the shooter,” Pierce said just after 11 a.m.

The suspected gunman, identified as James A. Phillips, was booked into the Cobb County jail early Tuesday afternoon. He was being held without bond on felony charges of aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, jail records show. He was denied bond at his first court appearance Tuesday night.

Phillips, 36, was released from state prison in October after being convicted of obstruction of a law enforcement officer and methamphetamine possession in Cherokee County, according to state Department of Corrections records.

“We got him in custody south of I-285, about a mile away (from the scene of the shooting),” Pierce said. “He was found in the stairwell of a home near the Chattahoochee River and he surrendered without incident.”

The area where the suspected gunman was found is part of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

“Our officers have been out searching all morning and that’s what the officers were doing when they came across what would be described as a suspicious individual,” the sergeant said. “As they began to question him, he very obviously became suspicious.

Police told Channel 2 Action News that Phillips had been with a woman selling meth just before the shooting.

That woman, Lindsey Morgan Campbell, 26, of Acworth, was booked into the Cobb County jail late Tuesday afternoon on drug and weapons charges, and is being held without bond, according to the jail website.

Pierce said the wounded officer, who has been on the force for about a year and a half, “is in good spirits, he’s in good condition.”

He said Vill had initially noticed “suspicious activity” by the occupants of the Volvo and the Ford Fusion, and that’s what prompted the traffic stop.

Other officers were en route to assist Hill, but had not yet arrived when he was shot, according to Pierce.

Pierce said more than 100 officers took part in the eight-hour manhunt, many staying over after their overnight shifts ended.

Rudy Evenson, the park information officer for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, said the building where the suspect was found is the “old ranger operation center for the south district” and is slated for demolition.

“We used to use it as an office for the rangers,” Evenson said. “We haven’t used it in about five years since we condensed all our operations up in Sandy Springs.”

Evenson said park visitors occasionally “come down this road and make their way down to the river, but it’s the off-season, so there’s not too many people back here now.”