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Officers shot accidentally following high speed chase

By BECKY CRISSMAN
becky.crissman@cordeledispatch.com

CORDELE — The Georgia Bureau of investigation is currently investigating circumstances surrounding an officer involved shooting in Crisp County Thursday following a high-speed chase that spanned two counties. Recent reports indicate the shots that injured an Ashburn Police Officer and a Turner County Sheriff’s Deputy were the result of an accidental discharge from the weapon of a Georgia State Trooper following the chase.
The chase began when Ashburn Police attempted to stop a stolen car. The vehicle fled north on I-75 and Ashburn Police initiated a pursuit.  The male passenger of the vehicle, identified as 34-year old Joaquim Dinon Gerry began firing at the pursuing officers, while the second suspect, 29-year old Danielle Ockstadt of Colorado Springs, Colorado drove the vehicle.
Crisp County Sheriff’s Deputies joined the chase at the 96-mile marker at around 4:12 p.m.
According to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of investigation, Gerry shot himself during the chase and later succumbed to his injuries.
Ockstadt stopped the vehicle at Exit 99 in Crisp County and taken into custody. Sheriffs Billy Hancock(Crisp) and Andy Hester (Turner) approached the vehicle to apprehend the passenger who was visibly holding a cocked weapon. It was discovered that Gerry had suffered a serious gunshot wound to the head.
Officers had removed Ockstadt from the vehicle and handcuffed her when an accidental discharge of weapon occurred with a responding officer from the Georgia State Patrol. The shot struck Ockstadt, a Turner County Deputy and an officer with the Ashburn Police Department. All three wounds were to the lower leg of each person. The law enforcement officers were treated and released. Ockstadt was being treated for non-life threatening injuries.
According to the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office the investigation revealed that Gerry had a criminal history. He was wanted out of Colorado Springs, Colorado for a stolen vehicle. The vehicle involved in the incident is also reported stolen from Colorado Springs Police Department. The investigation continues today with GBI agents returning to Cordele.
“It is incidents like this that show just how well Crisp County and surrounding agencies work together to get crime off of our streets,” said Sheriff Billy Hancock. “I thank God that no one was seriously injured during this situation. There h.
The GBI will conduct an independent investigation to determine what occurred during the incident. When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the District Attorney for judicial review.