Weekend crime recap: “We will engage you, and we will neutralize the threat.”

Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 6:04 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - A busy weekend for law enforcement officers in our area with police responding to a number of shootings.

Starting in Columbus Friday night, more than 60 law enforcement officers from different agencies in Alabama and Georgia were called to the Baymont Hotel on Whitesville Road in Columbus.

In a press conference Saturday, Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman explained fugitive Oscar Maxwell was wanted by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for several outstanding felony warrants including stealing firearms..

“We will not back down from you,” Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman said. “We will engage you, and we will neutralize the threat. We want you to know that because we don’t take this to be funny.”

Maxwell was ultimately shot and killed by officers after firing his guns multiple times into occupied hotel rooms and cars. We’re told no one else in the area was hurt.

“Because of the number of weapons that this individual had, I have no doubt that if he was loose, if he had that audacity to fire at Special Operations Unit within the Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office, I know what he would do to a citizen,” Countryman said.

The next day, Saturday, a separate incident near the area of Shelby and Douglas Streets In Columbus where 23-year-old Joseph Antonio Lopez Rodriguez was shot to death.

Finally, in LaGrange, police say 20-year-old Gerald Jerome Burden Jr. was murdered at the Woodglenn Apartments on North Cary Street.

Sheriff Countryman explained deputies are prepared to fight back, warning people in Muscogee County to think twice before committing a crime.

“We won’t sit on the sideline and run from you just because you fire a weapon,” Countryman said. “We won’t run from it. We will engage you if you wage war with us.”

As far as we know, no one has been arrested in any of these cases.

News Leader 9′s Ashlee Williams attempted to contact both LaGrange and Columbus Police Departments, but we have not heard back or gotten an update on suspects.