HENRY COUNTY, Ga. — Two officers shot in the line of duty in Henry County last week told Channel 2's Tom Regan they thought they were responding to a routine call of a woman in labor. Instead, it turned into a violent 14-hour standoff with a gunman armed with hundreds of rounds of bullets.
[WARNING - GRAPHIC: Police release video of moment that started 14-hour standoff]
SWAT officers Keegan Merritt and Taylor Webb were the first officers to respond to the house on Eagle Court on Thursday morning. Once they arrived, they spoke with Sandra White’s sister, who told them she’d seen White lying unconscious in the garage.
Webb and Merritt looked into the garage, saw White on the floor and said they knew they had to get inside.
"The best way to get in and try to help this lady was through the front door,” Webb told Regan.
He said he never expected a gunman would be waiting for him on the other side.
“As soon as I kicked in the door, the guy started putting rounds on me,” Webb said. “First one hit me in the chest, the second hit my hip.”
Webb fell to the ground, knocking off his body camera. He said he had no option but to move forward into the home.
“If I tried to engage him in the doorway, I was definitely going to die,” he said. “At some point he started dropping flash bangs on me."
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Merritt then yelled to the gunman, later identified as Anthony Bailey, from outside the house.
"Where's my officer at?" Merritt asked.
"I don't know. I hit him and he moved," Bailey replied.
Webb said that’s when he knew he had a chance to get away.
“I heard him say he had more bullets. I heard him say he shot me and didn't know where I was. (I’m thinking,) ‘OK, he don't know where I am, now I can make my move,’” Webb said.
Webb scrambled into the garage, only to find the door locked. Seconds later, another officer broke through the garage door to get him out.
“That was the best thing I’ve ever seen, his popping his head out of that garage,” Merritt said.
Merritt was standing by the tree with his assault rifle, trying to draw the gunman away as Webb escaped through the garage.
Once out, he was rushed to a medic, but Webb says he knew it wasn’t anywhere close to over. Bailey claimed to have White’s 16-year-old son as a hostage.
“It was good to get out, but we still had a threat to deal with,” Webb said.
As officers continued to try to engage Bailey, Merritt was shot in the hand.
“Got hit right in the middle finger, and my trigger finger, crushed my middle finger,” he said. “It stunned me. I knew he could see me, I couldn't see him. I was in a bad spot."
The standoff ended 14 hours later. Police entered the home to find White, her unborn baby and teenage son dead. Bailey also shot himself.
The two officers are thankful to be alive but mourn for innocent lives lost.
"The worst thing that happened from the entire incident is that civilians lost their lives,” Webb said.
Webb and Merritt told Regan they appreciate the outpouring of support, including calls from the governor.
They now face months of recovery.
WATCH THE FULL BODY CAMERA BELOW (Warning: Some may find this video disturbing)
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