UPDATE: Lanett police officer involved in high-speed pursuit identified

Published 8:37 am Thursday, January 4, 2024

 

UPDATE AT 1:55 PM ET: The Lanett police officer involved in the accident has been identified as Cornelius J. Robinson, 28, of Valley, according to a press release from the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. The Lanett PD said in an early morning press release that Robinson is on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.

Coweta County sheriff’s deputy Eric A. Minix, 31, of Luthersville, Georgia., was fatally injured when the 2017 Ford Explorer patrol vehicle driven by Cornelius J. Robinson, 28, of Valley, struck Minix as he was exiting his patrol vehicle, the 2017 Dodge Charger. After the initial impact, the Explorer then struck the 2017 Dodge Charger before hitting the 2022 Dodge Challenger driven by the suspect, Decedric Donson, 25, of Pensacola, Florida.


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UPDATE: The suspect, who led officers on the high-speed chase, was identified as De’cedric Vonche Donson, according to Captain Patrick McCullough, commander Lanett Police Department CID. Donson, 25, is shown as an inmate at the Chambers County Detention Center.

His charges are listed as fleeing or attempting to elude law enforcement officer and receiving stolen property.


ORIGINAL STORY: 

A Coweta County Sheriff’s Deputy was killed during a high-speed chase that spilled over into Alabama in the early hours of Thursday morning.

The deputy has been identified as Eric Minix by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.  Minix was struck by a Lanett police officer during the high-speed pursuit along Interstate 85 in Chambers County, Alabama.

The Coweta County Sheriff’s Office said following the pursuit of the stolen vehicle, and during the apprehension of the suspect, Minix was struck by a police car and was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

“DS Eric Minix was a dedicated Deputy and K9 Officer, but more importantly, he was a friend to everyone who knew him. Eric leaves behind a loving wife and three daughters,” a statement from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office said. “We have lost a good deputy. We have lost a good man. We have lost a good friend.”

The chase began in Georgia and had crossed over into Alabama when the deadly incident occurred, according to a press release from the Lanett Police Department. Several Georgia agencies were involved in the pursuit involving a driver who had allegedly stolen a vehicle.  The driver, who has not been identified, was placed in custody.

Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) has taken the lead of the investigation.

The press release from LPD said the Lanett Police Officer has been put on administrative leave while pending their investigation.

Stewart Smith with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office said TCSO assisted in the pursuit, which started in Coweta County. TCSO became involved around 12:30 a.m. when the chase crossed over into Troup County, and he said it ended around 1 a.m. near mile marker 77.

“Our hearts are heavy today as another Georgia law enforcement officer has lost their life in the line of duty. Earlier today a Coweta County Deputy was killed in an automobile accident after the conclusion of a vehicle pursuit that ended in Alabama on Interstate 85. Multiple agencies were assisting on scene including our own deputies who immediately rendered aid to the injured deputy,” a statement signed from Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff said. “We send our thoughts and prayers to Sheriff Lenn Wood, the staff of the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office and the family and friends of the deputy.”