It began with a frantic, garbled scream over the police radio Friday afternoon.
"She's beating me, she's beating me," Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Glenda Shelton screamed to dispatchers.
A few seconds of silence followed. Then, "I think I've been shot."
The deputy had been left alongside Wrightsboro Road after being attacked by a prisoner and shot with her own gun.
Dispatchers calmly helped Deputy Shelton gather herself and determine her exact location, then sent a brigade of deputies to the scene.
It's the call no officers want to respond to, but once they do, they don't want to leave.
"(The deputies are) all blue, brother," Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle said. "That takes that thin blue line and makes it thicker. There wasn't anybody out here that wasn't ready to ride."
The suspect, 23-year-old Tamika Bumpass, of Memphis, Tenn., had stolen a pickup truck and disappeared, police said.
What followed was a 12-hour ordeal that ended when a shoeless and bottomless Bumpass was tracked down hiding in the woods between Grovetown and Harlem by officers and a canine unit.
Authorities said Bumpass is facing nine charges in Columbia County and has a hold placed on her for 12 charges by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee, said Columbia County Sheriff's Office Capt. Steve Morris.
Columbia County officers race to their vehicles after the suspect in the shooting of a deputy is spotted about a mile from the scene.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Capt. Morris added that if she is convicted on all charges, Bumpass would face about 90 years in prison. Before the escape, she would have been facing 20 years, Capt. Morris said.
Capt. Morris said that just after 4 p.m. on Wrightsboro Road, Bumpass, the only prisoner in the back of Deputy Shelton's white Ford Aerostar van, complained of feeling sick.
Deputy Shelton lowered a Plexiglas panel separating the rear seats from the driver's area to give Bumpass more air. Bumpass reached through the opening and started struggling with the driver.
Deputy Shelton, 31, a five year veteran of the sheriff's office, was able to pull the van to the side of the road near Baker Place Road, where the struggle continued.
At some point, police say, Bumpass took the deputy's .40-caliber Glock handgun and shot her in the left side of the chest. The gun jammed, police say, preventing Bumpass from firing again.
A man driving a white Ford pickup eastbound on Wrightsboro Road pulled over when he saw the van swerving. Bumpass stole his pickup and fled.
Soon after, resident P.K. Fitzgerald found himself in the middle of the manhunt. He said Bumpass drove up his driveway and appeared to be fleeing from someone. He followed her.
"I jumped in my Jeep and tried to take off after her to get a tag number," Fitzgerald said.
Columbia County: (Charges and maximum years per charge if convicted.)
Hijacking a motor vehicle (20)
Identity theft (10)
Aggravated assault on police officer (20)
Felony escape (5)
Theft by taking (10)
Possession of a firearm during a crime (5)
Giving a false name (1)
Obstruction of an officer (5)
Making terroristic threats and acts (5)
Hamilton County Sheriff's Office in Tennessee:
Absconding from supervised probation
Forgery (five counts)
Theft of property
Harassment (two counts)
Before he was able to catch up to the pickup, Fitzgerald said, he ran into the roadblock at the scene of the shooting. He said he told officers what he had seen and that the woman hadn't gotten very far.
"Some 100 yards from our driveway is a narrow drive that goes down in the woods," Fitzgerald said. "That's where she ditched the vehicle."
Hours later, he got a call from the sheriff's department and was told they had caught the suspect.
"They told me they caught her by our pond, about 50 yards from our back yard," he said.
Law enforcement agencies from surrounding counties joined the search for the fugitive. Dog units were called in from as far as Milledgeville, and officers from Aiken County were on standby.
While local law enforcement looked for Bumpass, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents were tracking down her family in Tennessee and working in conjunction with the local FBI to establish her identity, Sheriff Whittle said. Bumpass was originally identified as Crystal Canell Brewer, 18.
"They were checking to see if there was anybody en route to try to get her and those types of things," he said.
Sheriff Whittle said a dog unit from Milledgeville and local officers found Bumpass covered with scratches that were most likely caused by her walking half-naked through the the woods. She surrendered without incident and was taken to University Hospital for treatment before being driven to the detention center - where she was originally scheduled to arrive.
"We were able to capture her because of the tight perimeter," Sheriff Whittle said minutes before Bumpass arrived to the detention center. "The officers established the perimeter and held it for as long as it was needed."
The next step will be two separate investigations, Capt. Morris said. Investigators will continue to build a case against Bumpass on the forgery charges and will investigate the shooting incident.
Sheriff Whittle said that once he has all the information, he will decide what, if any, changes are needed in training and policies.
"Were there mistakes made? Obviously," he said. "If they were made, it was probably because of too much kindness. But the bottom line (is), she is a very good officer."
While officers were searching for Bumpass, residents were helping by donating everything from water to generators.
Harlem City Council members Scott Dean and Craig Brooks took the officers peanut butter sandwiches and bottles of Gatorade.
"These officers protect us every day," Brooks said. "We just wanted to help them in any way we could."
Sheriff Whittle said the support his deputies received from the community during and after the entire manhunt was greatly appreciated.
"That is just what this community does," he said.
4 P.M.: Deputy Glenda Shelton makes her initial call to dispatch and is heard yelling, "She's beating me, she's beating me."
4:40 P.M.: Deputy Shelton is airlifted to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.
4:45 P.M.: Law enforcement officers find the abandoned Ford pickup with the deputy's gun inside.
5 P.M.: A perimeter is set up near Pumpkin Center in Harlem. Officers from Jefferson and McDuffie counties join the search.
5:20 P.M.: The fugitive is spotted by deputies a few hundred feet from the Ford truck.
6-11:30 P.M.: law enforcement officers from nearly 15 agencies man the perimeter while a helicopter searches from overhead.
11:35 P.M.: Richmond County Deputies arrive in waves.
3 A.M.: The Georgia State Patrol helicopter lands for the night and is placed on standby.
4 A.M.: Officers and a K-9 unit find Tamika Bumpass barefoot and covered in scratches. She is taken into custody without incident.
4:15 A.M.: Ms. Bumpass is taken to the University Hospital Emergency Room for treatment.
6:30 A.M.: Ms. Bumpass is taken to Columbia County Detention Center.
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