Peach County sergeant dead, deputy in critical condition after shooting

Sgt. Patrick Sondron was shot and killed in the line of duty on Sunday night / Peach County Sheriff's Office (Facebook)

BYRON, Ga. -- One Peach County deputy was killed and another one critically injured in a Peach County shooting on Sunday night.

According to Special Agent J.T. Ricketson with the GBI, two deputies were involved in the shooting.

Ricketson stated that Sgt. Patrick Sondron and Deputy Daryl Smallwood responded to a call around 5:30 p.m. of a dispute between neighbors on Hardison Road near Byron.

He said one person was on a four wheeler and another on a motorcycle when they got into an altercation. Then a third individual confronted them with a weapon. The two on vehicles left the area and then called authorities.

The deputies arrived at the individual's house and the suspect opened fire, striking both deputies. The two that originally called 911 saw the deputies get shot and called 911 again.

Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks confirmed that Sondron, 41, died from his injuries at a hospital in Byron.

Smallwood was shot and taken to Navicent Health in Macon. He is in critical condition, according to Sheriff Terry Deese of the Peach County Sheriff's Department.

"They're just like you and me," Deese said. "They're great men. Both of them have small kids. Had a lot of life ahead of them."

The suspect, identified by Deese as Ralph Stanley Elrod, was struck at least one time in the abdomen according to Ricketson and transported to Navicent Heath. His condition is unknown but he is in custody.

Deese said he doesn't believe the deputies were targeted in the shooting, but that a feud caused the shooting.

"There was a feud going on between these neighbors and we just think it was a result of the feud that they had going on for some time," Deese said. "For some reason the guy decided tonight to start shooting."

Bibb County deputies are assisting Byron and Peach County Law Enforcement.

According to Deese, the scene has been secured.

Ricketson said the GBI is now canvasing the scene.

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