Police officer killed, 2 wounded in Georgia shooting

ATLANTA, Feb 9 (Reuters) - A police officer was shot dead and two sheriff's deputies were wounded on Friday in a small Georgia town by a gunman who was then killed, the county sheriff said.

The wounded Henry County Sheriff's deputies were taken to Atlanta Medical Center, where one was in serious condition and undergoing surgery, Sheriff Keith McBrayer told reporters at a press conference.

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McBrayer said the incident began when the two sheriff's deputies went to arrest a criminal suspect in the town of Locust Grove and called for backup when they realized they would have "issues placing him in custody."

The sheriff said the Locust Grove police officer had just arrived on the scene as backup when the shooting took place.

The slain suspect has been identified by authorities but his name will not be released until his next of kin are notified, said Nelly Miles of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Images on local television showed police tape around two homes in a cul-de-sac of a Locust Grove subdivision.

The brother of the sheriff's deputy in surgery, a pastor at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in the town of Griffin, told local WSB-TV that he had been struck by a bullet that went through his body armor and struck a lung.

The second deputy was listed in fair condition. (Reporting by Mike Cooper and Peter Szekely; Additional reporting and writing by Colleen Jenkins and Dan Whitcomb; Editing by James Dalgleish and Tom Brown)

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