COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) has confirmed a suspect is dead following an officer-involved shooting at the Baymont Inn & Suites Friday night.
22-year-old Oscar Maxwell was wanted by MCSO and the Lee County Sheriff’s Office for outstanding felony warrants and was suspected of multiple firearm thefts, including stealing a weapon from an officer across state lines. Muscogee County Sheriff Greg Countryman could not confirm which law enforcement agency the weapon was stolen from.
According to Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan, Maxwell died from multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at 10:59 p.m.
During Saturday’s press conference, Sheriff Countryman discussed details about the investigation. MCSO’s Special Operations Unit received a tip that Maxwell was staying at the Baymont Inn. When surveilling the area, investigators spotted Maxwell on the second floor of the hotel.
Shortly after investigators saw Maxwell leave his room he started walking towards them. When investigators identified themselves and told Maxwell to surrender, he went back to his room. As investigators attempted to enter the room, they were met with heavy gunfire.
Maxwell was holding two weapons, one in each hand, firing a volley of gunfire towards our Special Operations Unit. Our Special Operations Unit returned gunfire to neutralize Maxwell’s threat at him and those in the hotel room.Sheriff Greg Countryman, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff Countryman says there was a brief pause where investigators were able to call for assistance and give verbal commands to Maxwell. Maxwell then fired a second round of gunfire through his hotel room window, striking parked vehicles and occupied hotel rooms. The Special Operations Unit shot back at Maxwell until he stopped firing. Their additional attempts to make contact with Maxwell went unanswered.
Investigators used a wireless robot device to locate Maxwell in the room. They found Maxwell unresponsive, laying on the floor of the room with an automatic rifle in his right hand. Maxwell was also surrounded by approximately seven loaded guns, one of which was stolen. Investigators also found multiple tasers and what they believe to be a grenade in the room.
Sheriff Countryman confirmed there were no other injuries reported during this incident. He says the number of weapons Maxwell had and the fact he shot at officers was a clear sign of the harm Maxwell could bring to the community.
The message I want to send loud and clear to those that think that we will cower when they have the audacity to fire at one of our investigators, at one of our deputies… we will not back down from you. 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. We’re not going to sit on the sideline and run from you because you think that just because you fire a weapon that we’re going to run from it, we’re going to engage you. If you wage war with us. We will engage you in neutralizing the threat.Sheriff Greg Countryman, Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is leading the investigation to ensure full transparency since the incident was an officer-involved shooting.
Multiple agencies including the Columbus Police Department (CPD), MCSO and Columbus Fire and EMS responded to the hotel on Whitesville Road.
Down below is a look at the full press conference: