Byron, Houston County, GA (February 9, 2020) – On Sunday, February 9, 2020, the GBI was requested by the Houston County Sheriff’s Office to investigate an officer involved shooting.

Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 7:00 AM, four Houston County Deputies responded to 207 Danube Way, Byron, GA in reference to a domestic disturbance call to the 911 Center.  One deputy walked up to the residence and announced that he was law enforcement.  A subject inside the residence asked the deputy if he was from Byron Police Department.  The deputy advised that he was a Houston County deputy.  While the deputy was standing on the front porch, one of the other deputies in the front yard area heard a sound that he recognized as a rifle being loaded.  He and the other deputies pulled back from the residence.  The subject was seen in the backyard area behind a fence and then was later seen exiting the front door.  The subject opened fire at the deputies with a rifle.  The deputies took cover and three deputies returned fire, striking the subject.  The fourth deputy on scene did not fire his weapon.  During the gunfire exchange, one of the deputies was struck in his hand.  The other deputies were not injured.  EMS was called to the scene and treated the subject as well as the deputy.  The subject, later identified as Michael Leatherwood, 47 years old, was transported to the Navicent Health Center.  The deputy was also transported by ambulance to the hospital.

Leatherwood is listed in serious condition and is currently in surgery.  The deputy was treated for his injuries and has been released.  This GBI investigation is active and ongoing.  When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Houston County District Attorney’s Office.


Special Agent in Charge J.T. Ricketson

(478) 987-4545