Henry Laxson, an Atlanta-area police officer, was among four killed in a shootout at a Georgia home on Tuesday night, Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts confirmed at a news conference hours later. 

Two adult women and a male suspect also died in what police are describing as a domestic incident in a suburban neighborhood of Rex, Georgia. 

Another Clayton County officer, Alex Chandler, was reportedly shot in the hand and is expected to recover. A 12-year-old boy was also treated for injuries sustained at the scene. His condition was described as “critical but stable” as of Wednesday afternoon. 

The civilian victims have not been identified, pending notification of their families, police said. 

Officer Henry Laxson Killed in Shooting that Left 3 Others Dead

According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations, Clayton County police responded to a call about a domestic disturbance at a home on Jervis Court at around 8:40 Tuesday night. While en route, the officers were notified that a child had been shot at or near the residence. 

Chief Roberts told reporters that officers arrived to discover a 12-year-old boy with a gunshot wound to the face, who led them to the residence where an adult woman was laying in the yard, also apparently shot. 

When authorities tried to render aid to the victims, an adult male opened fire at them from an unknown location, they said. 

The firefight was captured on video by a neighbor’s Ring doorbell camera and later shared with WSB-TV’s Ashli Lincoln, who uploaded the footage to Twitter. A barrage of overlapping gunshots are heard and the flashing lights of emergency vehicles are visible in the background during the brief skirmish.  

“At the front of the residents, [officers] were immediately engaged by a male suspect who was armed with a handgun,” Roberts said. “Those officers were able to take cover for their own safety, and that suspect then fled on-foot to the rear of the residence.”

“As he fled,” the chief continued, “he was met by tactical units who were approaching on foot. He also engaged them in gunfire, unfortunately striking two of our officers. One of those officers sustained fatal injuries.” 

Clayton County police officer Henry Laxson was killed in a firefight in Rex, Georgia that left three others, including the suspect, dead. Officer Alex Chandler was also wounded.
Clayton County police officer Henry Laxson was killed in a firefight in Rex, Georgia that left three others, including the suspect, dead. Officer Alex Chandler was also wounded. Photo credit: Facebook

Field Training Officer Henry Laxson was later identified as the mortally wounded policeman. 

“Our tactical officers were able to return fire, killing the suspect,” Roberts said

The shooter was later revealed to be Arthur Allen Gilliam, a 35-year-old Rex man. Police believe Gilliam shot the child, the woman in the yard, and another female victim whose body was discovered after the firefight. 

It’s not clear if Gilliam lived at the Jervis Court house, or what his relationship was to the civilian victims. No further information about the 35-year-old was immediately available on Wednesday. 

Clayton County police said on Facebook that an investigation is underway. 

Field Training Officer Henry Laxson was killed by Arthur Allen Gilliam just moments before police shot the suspect dead, officials said. Officer Alex Chandler was also shot, but is expected to recover.
Field Training Officer Henry Laxson was killed by Arthur Allen Gilliam just moments before police shot the suspect dead, officials said. Officer Alex Chandler was also shot, but is expected to recover. Photo credit: Twitter

Slain Officer Mourned by Community

Chief Roberts told reporters late on Tuesday that he had spoken with the family of officer Henry Laxson after the shooting. 

“It’s definitely emotional,” he said. “These men and women do an honorable job every day, and it’s unfortunate we have to make these reports time and time again. My heart aches for every police officer and their family.” 

“These things just shouldn’t happen,” the chief added. 

Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts said his "heart aches" for the families of Henry Laxson, an officer killed in the domestic shootout, and Alex Chandler, who was injured but expected to recover.
Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts said his “heart aches” for the families of Henry Laxson, an officer killed in the domestic shootout, and Alex Chandler, who was injured but expected to recover. Photo credit: Facebook

WSB-TV reported that “dozens” of Clayton County officers lined the street near Grady Memorial Hospital Wednesday in an apparent show of solidarity with the victims. Elsewhere in the greater Atlanta area, police personnel offered their condolences to the slain Henry Laxson. 

“We can never forget the sacrifice that these officers’ and all great law enforcement officers make for our communities,” wrote the police department of nearby Peachtree City in a post on its official Facebook page Wednesday. 

“Please also pray for the child and the two women’s family and friends that lost their lives during this senseless domestic dispute.”