Police dog finds Gilmer County shooting suspect

The convicted felon accused of shooting two people during an argument over money was arrested Wednesday, the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office said.

James Michael Stafford, of an Ellijay address, was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon after being tracked by police dog, the sheriff’s office said. Stafford has been on the run since Feb. 10, when he was allegedly involved in a shootout when three men came to his home to collect a debt.

Two men were shot in the head and flown to an Atlanta hospital and woman was also injured, according to the sheriff’s office. Stafford took the woman to the North Georgia Medical Center, prompting a temporary lockdown as police searched the area for him.

The GBI has assisted deputies with the search for Stafford, who was located Sunday, but was able to elude capture. Gilmer Sheriff Stacy Nicholson said Stafford attempted to run over a deputy during the incident.

Stafford is expected to face numerous charges, including aggravated assault and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, according to the sheriff’s office. Stafford has been in state prison six times since 1987, according to the Georgia Department of Corrections.

Most recently, Stafford was behind bars from December 2004 until January 2007, records show.