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Richmond County deputy shooting: What we know

Published: May. 27, 2022 at 10:09 AM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 5:21 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree on Friday identified a deputy who was shot the day before and gave more details about the clash.

“It is one of the worst feelings as a leader of an agency,” Roundtree said. “This was another act of senseless gun violence.”

Deputy John A. Tarpley was shot in the incident that happened just before 4 p.m. Thursday at the Charlestowne South Apartments, 2119 Lumpkin Road off Peach Orchard Road. Tarpley suffered injuries that were not life-threatening, according to authorities.

A female suspect was taken into custody after being treated for gunshot wounds that were also not believed to be life-threatening.

Roundtree said after the woman shot Tarpley, deputies returned fire.

The bullet from deputies struck a window at the woman’s apartment, and her child was cut by a piece of glass from it, according to Roundtree.

Richmond County Deputy John A Tarpley (left) was shot and Deputy Dontavion J. Jones was on the...
Richmond County Deputy John A Tarpley (left) was shot and Deputy Dontavion J. Jones was on the scene, as well.(WRDW)

The events unfolded after crime-suppression deputies Tarpley and Dontavion Jones conducted a traffic stop around 4 p.m. at the apartment complex.

The vehicle was a white Impala driven by a Darius Daquan Rivera, 25, with a woman identified as Ladeeje Z. Harvey, 25, in the front passenger seat, according to Roundtree.

Tarpley and Jones engaged the driver after smelling marijuana coming from the vehicle and told Rivera to exit the vehicle, Roundtree said.

While Tarpley was speaking with the driver, Harvey began walking away from the car with her 5-year-old son, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reported.

Tarpley asked Harvey to stay in the car, but she refused, according to the GBI.

Harvey was walking toward her home when Tarpley asked Dontavion Jones to detain Harvey, the GBI reported.

Jones tried to detain Harvey at the entrance of her home, which resulted in a struggle between Harvey and Jones, according to the GBI.

During the struggle, Harvey pulled a revolver from her purse and fired multiple rounds at the deputies, according to the GBI. Roundtree said she had her 5-year-old son in front of her at the time.

Tarpley was shot in the upper right chest as he was entering the home to assist Jones. Jones fired his service weapon, hitting Harvey twice in the leg, according to Roundtree.

Darius Daquan Rivera
Darius Daquan Rivera(Contributed)

Harvey then fled and was later arrested by deputies at 2722 Margaret Court, according to Roundtree.

Tarpley was given aid at the scene and transported to Augusta University Medical Center.

Roundtree on Friday morning condemned the shooting of the deputy but said it was incomprehensible that the woman would have done so with her child present.

“At no point would you think that a mother would pull a gun on two deputies” with a 5-year-old in the line of fire, Roundtree said.

“She put deputies at great risk, as well as her 5-year-old child. We are truly blessed that no one was killed yesterday,” Roundtree said.

He said considering the circumstances, deputies did a remarkable job. Roundtree said Tarpley and Jones have been with his agency since 2018.

As is common with shootings involving officers in the state, the incident is being investigated by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Roundtree said. Once the GBI completes its investigation, it will be given to the Augusta Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review.

The GBI said Harvey has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, and cruelty to children in the second degree.

There are two state court bench warrants out for Rivera, deputies said.

Richmond County deputy shot during traffic stop on Lumpkin Road
Richmond County deputy shot during traffic stop on Lumpkin Road

Roundtree’s agency has been dealing with an uptick in violent crime in recent weeks, involving many shootings, several of them deadly.

As a result, he’s boosted patrols in some areas of the city where crime is high.

One of those areas is the part of town where Thursday’s shooting happened, Roundtree said.

He also said it wasn’t the first time his agency has dealt with a problem at that apartment complex.

Roundtree blamed the area more than the complex itself.

However, we spoke to one resident Thursday who had something to say about the management of the complex.

“A lot of people here are really low-key. They don’t really get in much trouble,” the resident said. “I think it’s really more on the apartment. Apartment management. They need to be stepping up, making sure they’re checking people.”

Roundtree said there’s no footage that his agency has been able to use from security cameras at the complex. He did say both deputies involved in the incident were wearing body cameras.

District Attorney Jared Williams on Friday morning said he was “sickened and saddened” by the shooting.

“Our community is fed up with shootings, and now more than ever we need officers who protect our citizens,” he said in a statement. “To turn a gun on one of our peace officers is a vile act of someone with a malignant heart, and any such violence will result in my office using every tool at the disposal of the State to remove you from our community. Keep your guns off our officers. Keep your guns off our citizens. We will keep fighting for the soul and safety of our community.”

Soon after the shooting, a resident of the complex described what he saw.

“I saw a car swerving really fast into the complex, and it was police behind them. Once they got to a halt, I heard gunshots,” said Flame Cali.

It was just after work when he says he saw part of the shooting unfold.

“I immediately looked and I paused for a moment. The police got out and they started firing back. I saw the officer get hit, as well,” he said.

“I just hope everything turns out good. It was a wild sight. A wild sight.”

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