Accused shooter of Riverdale police officer dies

A 24-year-old man accused of killing a Riverdale police officer during a drug raid in February has died from injuries sustained in the shootout, an attorney for the man’s family said Monday.

Jerand Edward Ross died at 2:25 a.m. Monday at a Stockbridge hospice, Jonesboro attorney Keith Martin told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Ross had been moved to the hospice earlier this month from Atlanta Medical Center.

Ross’ death comes exactly two months to the day of the shooting at the Villages on the River apartments in Riverdale. Authorities said Ross shot Riverdale police Maj. Greg Barney, who was helping Clayton police serve a no-knock warrant at the complex. As law enforcement officers closed in on apartment 10-E, Ross ran out of the back door, where he encountered Barney.

Barney, who was not wearing a bulletproof vest, was shot in the abdomen. Clayton police responded by shooting Ross four times. One of the shots hit him in the head.

Ross was taken to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition. Barney was taken to Southern Regional Medical Center, where he died during surgery.

“I talked to the family, and they’re doing what they’ve been doing for two months and that’s mourning and trying to deal with the tragedy that beset the Barney family and theirs,” said Martin, who has known Jerand Ross and his family since Ross was about 10 years old.

Even if Ross had survived, Martin said, “he’d never walk or talk. He was never going to be without a feeding tube or catheter.”

Efforts to reach Riverdale Police Chief Todd Spivey were unsuccessful Monday afternoon.

Martin said the Ross family plans to write a letter to the Barney family to express their condolences. Ross’ mother, Felecia Lee, a former employee in the Clayton County Solicitor’s office, knew Barney well. In addition to seeing the popular police officer at the courthouse, Barney was once a student resource officer at her children’s school.

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