Suspect killed in shootout with deputies in Clayton County - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Suspect killed in shootout with deputies in Clayton County

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Jalen Ricks, 19, was killed in a shootout in Clayton County on Thursday, December 6, 2012. Jalen Ricks, 19, was killed in a shootout in Clayton County on Thursday, December 6, 2012.
JONESBORO, Ga. -

Investigators say that a gunman was killed and a deputy was injured after a shootout prompted by a reckless driving incident in the school zone in front of Jonesboro High School Thursday morning.

A spokesperson for the Clayton County Sheriff's Office told FOX 5 News that the incident started when a man nearly hit several cars and pedestrians in school zone of the high school right before classes were set to begin. A deputy directing traffic in the 7000 block of Mount Zion Boulevard at the time spotted the vehicle and attempted to stop him.

The man fled in the vehicle, but was spotted a short time later in a neighborhood near the school. Residents told police that they saw the man pull up to a cul de sac, get out of the car and took a rifle from the truck. They said the man had hid himself in the woods.

When deputies arrived, the man opened fire.

"They gave him verbal commands trying to get him to drop the weapon.  He refused.They exchanged the gunfire and one of the deputies was struck," said Chief Deputy Garland Watkins of the Clayton County Sheriff's Office.

They exchanged fire before striking the man.

Deputies say the suspect, 19-year-old Jalen Ricks, was in grave condition when he was transported to Southern Regional Medical Center. He was later pronounced dead.

Police said that Ricks, a student at the Perry Learning Center in Jonesboro, was armed with a shotgun and a handgun.

The injured deputy was treated and released from Grady Memorial Hospital.

Jonesboro High School was on lockdown for the first hour of the school day until deputies could confirm there was no longer any threat to the school.

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