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SPD officer recovering after being shot by a suspect
APO Joey Deloach was investigating at Copper Beach Townhomes
Joey Deloach
Advanced Patrol Officer Joey Deloach is recovering after being shot during an incident Tuesday night in Statesboro. Above, APO Deloach is shown receiving the Statesboro Police Department’s Meritorious Service Award, for his actions in response to a September 2023 nighttime incident in which more than 100 shots were fired among a crowd on the streets.

A Statesboro police officer is recovering today after being shot while attempting to question a suspect for illegally entering vehicles at a local apartment complex.

According to a release from Capt. Jared Akins, SPD officers were sent to Copper Beech Townhomes on Statesboro Place Circle Tuesday at 10 p.m. for a report of a man unlawfully entering vehicles in the parking lot.

“Advanced Patrol Officer Joey Deloach, a seven-year veteran of the department, observed a male subject matching the description given by the caller inside of a parked vehicle,” Akins said in the release. “APO Deloach approached the male and ordered him from the vehicle. The suspect exited the vehicle and exchanged gunfire with APO Deloach, who was struck but able to summon assistance from other officers in the complex.”

According to Chief Mike Broadhead, the bullet struck Deloach in the femoral artery of the left leg. An officer rendered aid to Deloach immediately, applying a tourniquet to stem the bleeding. He was rushed to East Georgia Regional Medical Center and then flown to Memorial University Medical Center in Savannah.

Akins said Deloach underwent surgery and remains at Memorial with his family at his side. He is listed in stable condition.

"The surgeon told us that without that tourniquet he'd have never met Joey," Broadhead said. "So, legit saved his life."

“SPD asks for the public’s prayers for his swift recovery,” Akins said.

After the shooting, the suspect fled on foot into a wooded area before emerging near Brampton Avenue, Akins said.

“Here, he was taken into custody by SPD officers and Bulloch County Sheriff’s deputies, who had responded immediately to assist," Akins said.

The suspect was identified as 19-year-old Anthony Kent, originally from Vidalia. Kent had an active felony warrant for his arrest through the Treutlen County Sheriff’s Office.

Anthony Kent
Anthony Kent

"SPD would like to thank the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Southern University Police for their assistance at the scene," Akins said.

Akins said Kent was found to have been wounded in the exchange of gunfire with Deloach and was transported to EGRMC where he was treated and released. He was then transported to the Bulloch County Jail on the charge of aggravated assault upon a public safety officer.

"I'm just incredibly proud of the work that was done by every member of this department who was out there, you know, just acting professionally under the circumstances," Broadhead said.

Akins said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested to respond after the incident as is the department’s policy regarding use of force incidents. The GBI remained at the scene throughout the night, processing it for evidence and working to identify any witnesses. The GBI’s investigation is ongoing, Akins said.

A statement from the GBI read: "The GBI will conduct an independent investigation. Once complete, the case file will be given to the Ogeechee Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review."

Anyone with information on this case is requested to contact the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s Region 5 Investigative Office at (912) 871-1121. Also, information may be provided to Senior Detective Ben Purvis at (912) 764-9911 or by submitting an anonymous tip to 

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