VALDOSTA, Ga. — Police say a Georgia man friends describe as “gentle” and a “teddy bear” called 911 to lure an officer into an ambush that left both wounded.
Officer Randall Hancock and 22-year-old Stephen Paul Beck are expected to survive the July 8 morning gunfire outside an apartment complex in Valdosta.
The shootout happened only hours after a sniper killed five police officers in Dallas, but Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokesman Scott Dutton says there was no immediate evidence of a connection.
Beck’s friends and neighbors said they’re stunned. Taki Zambaras, who ran a drug treatment center where Beck sought help about three years ago, says he turned his life around and is “one of the kindest, most gentle people.”
(GARY FINEOUT and RUSS BYNUM)