GBI Investigates Home Invasions and Officer Involved Shooting Incident in Lanier County - UPDATE
Lakeland, GA (July 24, 2020) – On Friday, July 24, 2020, arrest warrants were issued for William “Billy” Welland, Jr. for the following felony charges: Aggravated Assault, two counts of Home Invasion, two counts of Theft By Taking, Burglary, Aggravated Animal Cruelty, and Possession of a Firearm During the Commission of a Crime. These arrest warrants are related to the home invasions that occurred on Old Stockton Road and Crisp School Road. The investigation is still ongoing at this time.
Lakeland, GA (July 23, 2020) – On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, the GBI’s Douglas Regional Office received a request from the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office to assist with an investigation involving a series of home invasions which led to an officer involved shooting incident.
Preliminary information indicates that at approximately 11:50 a.m., the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to Old Stockton Road in Lakeland, Georgia regarding a home invasion in which the homeowner was shot and an unsuccessful attempt was made to steal his vehicle. The subject, later identified as William “Billy” Welland, Jr., age 37, was driving a black Audi that was reported stolen from the Tampa, Florida area and was allegedly involved in a homicide that occurred in Tampa on July 21, 2020. Welland drove to a residence on Crisp School Road, entered another residence, and stole a mini-van. Welland was then observed by law enforcement who attempted to make a traffic stop. Welland led officers on a short chase before pulling behind a residence on Highway 122 East. He exited the vehicle and attempted to run. While on foot, Welland pointed firearms at officers and gunfire was exchanged. One officer was grazed by gunfire and was later treated and released from South Georgia Medical Center – Lanier Campus. Welland was shot multiple times and is currently being treated at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta. The victim of the home invasion is also being treated at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.
This GBI investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact the Lanier County Sheriff’s Office (229) 482-3545 or the GBI Douglas office (912) 389-4103.