GBI identifies suspect in Clay County deputy shooting

An ambulance escorted  by police transports a wounded Clay County, GA sheriff's deputy to...
An ambulance escorted by police transports a wounded Clay County, GA sheriff's deputy to Southeast Alabama Medical Center in this October 4, 2017 photo.(WTVY News 4)
Published: Oct. 4, 2017 at 12:08 PM CDT
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On Wednesday, October 4, 2017, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) was requested to investigate the shooting of a Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputy.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 11:04 a.m., the Clay County Sheriff’s Office received a domestic disturbance call at 37 Azalea Trace in Georgetown. A juvenile reported that Matthew Collier, 46, was at the home and believed Collier was going to hurt the child’s mother.

Clay County Deputy Ted Bell responded to the residence where he made contact with Collier when entering the house. During the encounter, Collier fired two shots, one of which struck Bell in the abdomen. Bell returned fire but did not strike Collier. Bell retreated to his patrol vehicle where he retrieved a rifle while awaiting law enforcement and medical support. Approximately five minutes later, Collier came out of the residence and surrendered. Bell, physically unable to secure Collier, was assisted in placing handcuffs on him by an adult male who also lived at the house.

Deputy Bell was transported to Southeast Alabama Medical Center in Dothan, Alabama. He is expected to survive.

Collier has been charged with criminal attempt to commit murder, aggravated battery, and aggravated assault on a public safety officer. Other charges are pending.

The investigation is still active. Anyone with information is asked to call the GBI office in Sylvester at 229-777-2080.


A Clay County, Georgia sheriff’s deputy was reportedly shot Wednesday morning and rushed to a Dothan hospital. Clay County is across the Chattahoochee River from Henry County.

Details of the shooting aren’t immediately known though unofficial yet reliable reports are that the officer suffered a wound to the abdomen.

He was transported Southeast Alabama Medical Center. Local law enforcement officers assisted in clearing the road for the ambulance to pass.

A source familiar with the situation but not authorized to speak about it said a suspect is custody but that wasn’t immediately confirmed by Fort Gaines officials.