Police received a call on Sunday regarding a domestic dispute between a couple at the laundromat. Something about the dispute had evidently alarmed a person witnessing the dispute. The witness was able to give 911 the license number to the vehicle the couple was in.
Police identified the address to the vehicle and Officer Marcus Stiles and officer Lonnie Wells responded to the address in separate cruisers to check on the couple.
At the address the officers were met with gunfire. Officer Lonnie Wells was found dead by one of those cruisers. Officer Marcus Stiles was found nearby alive, but with a gunshot to his head.
Police say the suspect 51-year-old Gary Douglas fled the scene in one of their cruisers.
More than 5 departments responded to the call of the downed officers. A chase began with officers chasing the stolen cruiser. During the chase officers rammed the cruiser at least three times in an attempt to get it stopped. The chase ended at a roadblock with more gunfire and the crash of the cruiser. The suspect, Gary Douglas died at the scene. A shotgun was found under his body. At the time of the articles it was still not clear whether he was shot by the officers at the scene or the officers at the roadblock.
Officer Lonnie Wells died at the scene. Officer Marcus Stiles was pronounced brain dead on Sunday.
It all began as a domestic problem. Yet it reaches out and touches the community in many ways- both directly and indirectly.
Domestic violence is often characterized as a ‘couple’s problem.’ Domestic violence may result from a dispute between a couple, but the results of domestic violence are a community’s problem.
From the witness to the orginal dispute who tried to get help, the woman involved in the dispute, to the police officers- the community impact is huge.
I am not going to try to convey that in my words- the words of the community are best heard on their own. I will say that the officers were brothers, fathers, husbands, sons, uncles, school resource officers, police officers, community members, friends and so much more.
I have seen nothing about the welfare of the woman who was also in the dispute.