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Former sheriff Buice shot in Griffin; in stable condition

Former Lamar County sheriff Joe Buice was shot while on duty Friday afternoon in Spalding County. He was out of surgery and resting at Grady Hospital in Atlanta at 10:45 p.m., according to Capt. Tony Ranieri of the Spalding County S.O. Buice was conscious at the scene of the shooting at 2388 East McIntosh Road and lifeflighted to the Grady trauma center. He remained stable Saturday morning. Bill Taylor of WKEU radio in Griffin told The Herald-Gazette Buice was hit with a round from an AK-47 or SKS assault weapon. Buice was coherent and talking to emergency personnel at the scene before he was lifeflghted, Taylor said. At a 6:30 p.m. press conference held near the shooting scene, Capt. Ranieri said Buice was first dispatched in a suicide call involving a man with a rifle. By the time he arrived on the scene, the man was firing on passing cars. He fired on a white Chevy pickup, blasting glass into the driver’s face. The as-yet unidentified male victim was also lifeflighted but not seriously hurt. One report indicated he was released from the hospital early Saturday. Another vehicle was fired on but the driver was not hit, went home and called 911. Buice was shot in the cheek. The round went through his neck and lodged in his shoulder. The suspect, tentatively identified as Michael Stringer, was shot and killed by two more deputies who arrived at the scene to back up Buice. Spalding deputies had reportedly had problems with Stringer previously. Buice went to work as a patrol deputy for Spalding sheriff Dee Stewart last year after failing in his reelection effort here. Stringer reportedly had a wife and child.

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