Manhunt ends, murder suspect is dead - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

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Manhunt ends, murder suspect is dead

By Web Staff – email

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - A manhunt ends after hours of searching. Columbus police tell News Leader 9, Richard F. Dodelin is dead. 

Sources tell us, the suspect killed himself moments after exchanging gunfire with authorities.  

Dodelin ("Richie") was the suspect in a murder that occured around 11;30 p.m. Monday.  Investigators found the body at 84 Lumber Company on Fortson Road. [One man dead, police search for killer]

Timeline of events:

3:45: p.m.
-
  Columbus police confirm Richard F. Dodelin is dead.

3:43 p.m - Scanner traffic indicates suspect is down.

2:45 p.m. - Columbus Police chief Rickey Boren tells media outlets that the suspect is still on the loose.

1:30 p.m.  -
Columbus mayor Teresa Tomlinson tells News Leader 9 she "hopes the suspect sees reason to lay down his arms, come out the woods and end this tragic period".

11:45 a.m. - Police in Phenix City notified to be on the alert  for the suspect

10:42 a.m.
- Attorney Richard Hagler on scene arrives to gain clearance

10:30 a.m. - Coroner arrives

10:15 a.m. - Major Stan Swiney of the Columbus Police Dept. confirms the manhunt is connected to an overnight murder; Centralized command post formed.

9:15 a.m. - Parents of children attending schools affected by lockdown receive a message from ConnectEd

8:45 a.m. - The city of Columbus sends out an automated phone message to the public saying that a massive search for a suspect in underway.

7:15 a.m. - Investigators say Richard F. Dodelin escaped into the woods behind the house carrying a long rifle.

The victim, 42-year-old William Bullard, was pronounced dead a little after midnight Tuesday.

Police have been searching for Dodelin in north Columbus since early Tuesday morning. 

After 7:00 a.m. Tuesday, investigators say they went to an unknown house on Hubbard Road looking for Dodelin.

After shots were fired, Dodelin escaped into the woods behind the house carrying a long rifle.

During the search, police lockdown areas on Hubbard, Fortson and Whitesville Roads. They also usedhelicopters to aid in the search. We are told Dodelin knew the area pretty well.

Area schools were on lockdown Tuesday following reports of a intensive manhunt in north Columbus.

Valerie Fuller, the communications director for Muscogee County Schools, issued the following information regarding school let-out times: 

"Schools are scheduled to dismiss at the normal time with security measures in place and supervision at the schools including the bus boarding areas and car rider pick-up areas.  Principals of Veterans Memorial, Northside High, North Columbus, Double Churches Middle, Double Churches Elementary, Eagle Ridge, and Shaw High are contacting parents of their schools with specific updates and instructions related to his or her school. Parents of students who walk to either of the schools listed above are asked to pick up his or her child from school today as safety is priority.In addition, Shaw, Northside, Veterans, and Double Churches Middle after school practices will be canceled or held indoors at the site-school. Contests that are off campus will still be held.  Any on campus contests will be canceled and rescheduled."


Schools in Harris County were on lockdown as a safety precaution as well: 

Mountain Hill Elementary
Mulberry Creek Elementary
Creekside Intermediate School

News Leader 9 is following this story.

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