2 suspects in hours-long SWAT standoff in Cherokee County identified

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Two Alabama men are in custody after an armed standoff with police in Cherokee County that lasted for hours on Sunday.

The standoff, in which the men periodically fired at officers from the woods behind a business, shut down a nearby highway for hours.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said Monday that they are investigating the incident, which started around 2 p.m. when a car police said was involved in several violent crimes in Alabama was spotted in Ball Ground. Police attempted to pull over the silver Ford Escape on I-575.

The two men refused to pull over, leading to a chase that ended at the LAT Sportswear campus. The suspects left the car and ran into the woods.

The sheriff’s office said the suspects fired gunshots at the officers.

Multiple SWAT units were called to the scene to secure the area and locate the suspects. Deputies shut down Highway 5 from Howell Bridge Road to East Cherokee Drive. Neighbors who live in the area were told to stay inside their homes.

“During the standoff with the subjects, multiple shots were fired at responding law enforcement officers,” the GBI said.

The GBI identified the suspects as Jeffrey Danner, 30, and Hunter Caleb Kirkland, 27, and said that they had both been involved in multiple crimes in Alabama.

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A Cherokee County SWAT member shot Kirkland after he failed to comply with verbal commands. Kirkland was armed with a rifle.

Kirkland was taken to the hospital for surgery. Danner was located in the woods and taken into custody without incident.

Danner was charged with four counts of aggravated assault against a police officer, fleeing and attempting to elude police and simple battery against a police officer. He is being held without bond at the Cherokee County Detention Center.

Kirkland is in stable condition at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

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The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said they are speaking with investigators in Alabama regarding charges there, including attempted murder. It’s unclear what the suspects are accused of in Alabama to prompt those charges.