Suspect in Georgia Traffic Stop Shooting ‘Told His Mom He Had Killed a Deputy,’ Sheriff Says

Russell County Sheriff's Office(ATLANTA) -- The man accused of shooting a Harris County, Georgia, deputy at a traffic stop turned himself in after he allegedly "told his mom he had killed a deputy," Harris County Sheriff Mike Jolley told ABC News.

After the shooting in Georgia Saturday evening that left Harris County Deputy Jamie White in the hospital, the suspected gunman, Joe Lee Garrett, drove home to Alabama, where he allegedly confessed to his parents and his girlfriend, Jolley said. Jolley said Garrett thought he had killed the deputy.

Garrett, 24, then turned himself in to the Phoenix City Police in Alabama, according to Jolley and Sheriff Heath Taylor in Russell County, Alabama.

The shooting happened at about 7:30 p.m. Saturday when White pulled Garrett over for speeding, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said. Garrett was driving with two passengers in the car, according to the sheriff's office.

White was holding Garrett's license and had been talking to him for about seven minutes when Garrett allegedly pulled a pistol and shot White, according to a statement from the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

White had been bent down talking to Garrett at the time of the shooting, Jolley said.

Garrett then took his driver's license back and drove away, the sheriff's office said.

Jolley, who told ABC News he visited White in the hospital Sunday, said White is not in life-threatening condition, but, "we're being told he'll lose his left eye."

For White, a married father of two, law enforcement runs in the family -- his dad is a retired officer, Jolley said.

White "always wanted to be a law enforcement officer because his father was in it," Jolley said. "Now, of course, his future is a little undecided."

The sheriff's office reported that Garrett admitted to the shooting in police interviews but refused to identify the passengers in the car.

Garrett is being held at the Russell County Sheriff's Office jail. After a court hearing Monday, he will be transported to Harris County where he will be charged with aggravated assault on a police officer; possession of a firearm by a convicted felon; obstruction; possession of a firearm during a felony; and fleeing and attempting to elude, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said.

A woman, Lytishia Horace, was also taken into custody in connection with the case, both sheriffs said, though her involvement was not immediately clear.

Jolley said he's glad Garrett turned himself in.

"If he still had the weapon and law enforcement had gone to arrest him, he could have injured other law enforcement officers, other citizens or himself," Jolley said.

"The deputy was doing his job by making a traffic stop for speeding. He was saving Garrett's life by slowing him [down]," Jolley said. "Garrett pulled a weapon and shot him in the face for doing what all law enforcement do every day."

Sheriff Heath Taylor of Russell County, Alabama, where Garrett is being held and is scheduled to appear in court Monday, said he does not know if Garrett has an attorney.

Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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