Jasper — The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is seeking a man who fled into the woods armed with a loaded rifle following a domestic disturbance late Wednesday night near US 41 in White Springs.
According to Hamilton County Sheriff Harrell Reid, a man who lives near the Genoa area on US 41 had been heavily drinking and roughed up his girlfriend and her friend before taking off from the residence with a rifle in hand.
Police were called to the disturbance at 11:24 p.m. Wednesday night. Numerous units who responded to the scene were still tracking the suspect as morning broke Thursday, according to eyewitnesses.
An HCSO incident report states that HCSO was dispatched to a single family residence off SE 87 Terrace in White Springs in reference to a domestic violence battery. While enroute to the scene, dispatch advised responding HCSO deputies that the victims had fled the residence and the suspect was armed with a .243 caliber rifle with scope.
Upon arriving at the scene, deputies learned from the victims that the suspect was Chain Lee Williams, who had fled into the woods with a loaded rifle and extra rounds. The victims said Williams told them he would shoot it out with police, reports state.
Back-up units and the Department of Corrections K9 unit were dispatched to the scene due to the subject fleeing into the woods. For officer safety, EMS was also dispatched to the scene, due to the severity of the situation.
For officer safety, a helicopter was requested to respond, but none were available, so Columbia County Sheriff's Office Swat Team responded to assist. HCSO deputies accompanied CCSO Swat to the residence and deployed an armored vehicle to secure the residence and property. Once the scene was secured, the K9 team was notified to come in and the hunt began for the suspect, who was tracked for several miles through swamps, flatwoods and open fields. The end track was at a location where it appeared the suspect was picked up by a vehicle waiting for him, reports state.
The investigation is ongoing and an arrest warrant has been requested for Williams.