Man killed in probation officer shooting was murder suspect

News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, July 23, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- The suspect who was killed in Monday's shooting at the Georgia Department of Corrections Probation Office was a murder suspect in another town.

It was supposed to be a peaceful arrest when officers called Travis Berrian to the state probation office to take him into custody, but instead, it ended with two people shot.

Sherrill Latasha Warren is the probation officer who was shot on Monday. Berrian was also shot.

The problem: No shots were supposed to be fired in that room, and new information reveals there was one gun that wasn't supposed to be there, either.

"We are today releasing that Mr. Berrian did have a firearm on his person somewhere," GBI's Special Agent Pat Morgan said.

Six officers were in the room when it happened, and two shots were fired, but News 12 now knows Berrian had a concealed handgun of his own when he walked through the doors.

"He had a gun on him when he came into the office. Like I said, I can't get into who fired the shots or which gun fired the shots. I will say there's only two shots fired," Morgan explained.

Morgan says Berrian was called to the state probation office because of an active arrest warrant out of Statesboro, Ga. According to police there, he was one of five suspects in the murder of a pastor last month.

"Statesboro police are conducting a homicide investigation, and the warrant for Mr. Berrian is for murder," Morgan said.

Berrian also has an extensive criminal history in Augusta. Court records show at least 19 felony charges in 2004, including charges for aggravated assault, second-degree criminal damage to property and possession of a firearm/knife during the commission of a crime.

In 2012, he was charged with hindering the apprehension of a felon. He's also been charged with burglary, disorderly conduct and possession of marijuana over the years.

Deputies also wanted to question him for a double homicide back in 2010.

Monday's arrest was in reference to his most recent charge for murder out of Statesboro. The plan was to take him to the Richmond County Jail. Instead, he got a trip to the hospital.

Berrian ultimately died from his injuries, but a statement the Department of Corrections released on Tuesday says, "Officer Warren is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery."

While Monday's struggle ended in gunshots, Tuesday's struggle is for answers.

"It'll be one of our priority cases. These always are," Morgan said.

Morgan says Berrian's autopsy will be performed Wednesday in Atlanta. They're hoping to recover a bullet that they can compare to the firearm they believe was fired.

Morgan would not confirm what kind of gun Berrian had, but according to a press release out of Statesboro, he produced a handgun. It also says Warren was shot in the abdomen.

Here is the complete statement from the Georgia Department of Corrections:
"Sherrill Latasha Warren, the probation officer who sustained injuries
during the shooting incident at the Augusta Probation Office on July
22nd, is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
Warren is a 7-year veteran with the Department of Corrections.

Commissioner Brian Owens expressed his gratitude for the quick response from the local law enforcement community.

'Our law enforcement partners have been a source of great support, both during and after the incident, and our appreciation for their actions goes beyond words.'"


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