Potter the moment he pulled out his pistol and shot at Deputy. Screen grab from GBI bodycam footage.
According to a GBI press release, Hackney pulled over Potter after identifying a reported stolen trailer on Monday. Potter opened fire shortly after stopping his vehicle, striking Hackney in his ballistic vest. Both Hackney and his partner, Deputy Adrian Gomez, returned fire, and Potter sped off.
Potter crashed his truck, and police located the stolen trailer on the Whitfield-Gordon county line off of Interstate 75 South, which is the same highway where Potter shot at the deputies. Potter escaped on foot into the surrounding woods; Georgia law enforcement put out a blue alert labeling Potter as “armed and dangerous.”
According to the GBI’s website, a blue alert “is an emergency alert issued by local law enforcement to speed the apprehension of violent criminals who kill or seriously injure law enforcement officers and to aid in the location of missing law enforcement officers.”
The GBI announced later Monday that a second suspect had been identified as 47-year-old Jonathan Hosmer. He was identified and located with the help of a local home surveillance system. Police arrested Hosmer Tuesday not far from the wrecked truck and trailer, and he was charged with “possession of methamphetamine, bringing stolen property into the state, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.”
Georgia law enforcement carried out a search warrant on the stolen trailer later that day. According to the press release, “Explosives were found in the trailer that will be destroyed by the GBI Bomb Disposal Unit.” Potter had still not been located at the time.
Whitfield County Sheriff Scott Chitwood said during a Thursday press conference that Potter had made contact with a civilian and they engaged in an armed conflict. Potter had a bullet graze his head, and the civilian was shot multiple times. The civilian was brought to a Chattanooga hospital and is in stable to good condition.
Law enforcement set up a perimeter around the area of the armed engagement Wednesday night. Georgia law enforcement arrested Potter without incident within the perimeter approximately 72 hours after the original traffic stop. Potter was taken to the hospital, treated for his bullet graze wound, and released back into custody.
According to the GBI press release, both Hosmer and Potter are wanted fugitives out of Leakey, Real County, Texas. Potter is wanted for “larceny and theft of over $2500,” and Hosmer is wanted for the same charge.
It is unconfirmed at the time of publication why Hosmer and Potter were in Georgia or what their intentions were in regard to the explosives.
Joshua Skovlund is a former staff writer for Coffee or Die. He covered the 75th anniversary of D-Day in France, multinational military exercises in Germany, and civil unrest during the 2020 riots in Minneapolis. Born and raised in small-town South Dakota, he grew up playing football and soccer before serving as a forward observer in the US Army. After leaving the service, he worked as a personal trainer while earning his paramedic license. After five years as in paramedicine, he transitioned to a career in multimedia journalism. Joshua is married with two children.
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