Arrest made in murders of GA cops working security

Officers had been hired for night security by apartment manager; one arrest made


DECATUR, Ga. -- Police arrested one man in the apparent ambush slaying of two officers at a crime-ridden apartment complex, and were still looking Thursday for other suspects, authorities said.

Herbie Deshawn Durham, 32, was charged with two counts of murder Wednesday night after a massive search that involved SWAT teams, police dogs and a helicopter.

"We have a significant amount of evidence ... he deserves every label that we're putting on him," DeKalb County Police Chief Terrell Bolton said. "For those out there who are still remaining, yeah, we're coming after you too. Your time on the street is not long. We're going to bring you into justice."

Officers Ricky Bryant Jr., 26, and Eric Barker, 33, were moonlighting as security guards at the complex and investigating a suspicious person when they were gunned down, police said.

"They never had a chance," Bolton said.

One witness told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution the officers appeared to be frisking someone right before the shooting early Wednesday.

Derrick Murchison, 38, told the newspaper he looked out his window into a parking lot and saw that both officers had pulled up in their personal vehicles.

"They had asked the dude for his license ... I looked out and he was on the hood like this," he said, demonstrating that the man was standing with his hands on top of the car.

Murchison said he went back to playing a video game, but then his girlfriend heard shots and he pushed her away from the window.

One officer died at the scene; the other was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Witnesses reported seeing two males running from the scene, police said.

Officer Jonathan Ware, a police spokesman, said authorities were searching for "more than one" other suspect. He said he could not be specific.

Ware did not have details on what led to Durham's arrest, other than "hard police work." He said authorities had received cooperation from the public, including residents of the apartment complex, but could not say whether a $55,000 reward had led to the arrest.

Bolton had urged the gunmen to surrender: "If I were you, I'd turn myself in. The sun's coming up. Before sundown, we're gonna find you."

It was not immediately clear whether Durham had an attorney. Ware said Durham had a misdemeanor record, but could not be more specific.

Both slain officers were married fathers of four and were wearing their uniforms when they were shot.

Residents say drugs, prostitution and gunfire are common at the Glenwood Gardens apartments, located in this suburb 6 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Teofil Taut, who said he has owned the 176-unit complex for about two years and lives in one of the buildings, explained that he hired the officers as part-time security in December to prevent break-ins.


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