Swainsboro, Georgia (September 12, 2023)Me’Elle Layquon Merrion, age 21, of Swainsboro, GA, has been charged with aggravated assault. On Tuesday, September 12, 2023, at about 9:20 a.m., the Swainsboro Police Department asked the GBI to investigate the shooting of Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Dakota Lamb.   

Preliminary information indicates that on September 12, 2023, at about 7:30 a.m., Swainsboro Police Department officers and Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office deputies attempted to execute a knock and announce drug search warrant on Colegrove Drive, Swainsboro, GA. While attempting to execute the search warrant, Merrion shot Investigator Lamb in his shoulder from within the home. Investigator Lamb was immediately removed from the scene and taken to a local hospital.  He is currently receiving treatment & is expected to make a full recovery. 

During the incident, officers attempted to have the men inside the home surrender outside. Police took Tavarius Devouil, age 31, of Swainsboro, GA and Merrion into custody. Merrion is currently in custody at the Emanuel County Detention Center on the aggravated assault charge.   

Devouil is also in custody at the Emanuel County Detention Center and has been charged with the following: 

  • Possession of marijuana with the intent to distribute 
  • Possession of a schedule II-controlled substance and tampering with evidence 

Devouil is currently on state probation and is wanted out of Burke County for misdemeanor possession of marijuana and misdemeanor obstruction.  

This investigation is active and ongoing.  Anyone with information about this investigation is asked to contact the GBI regional investigative office in Eastman at 478-374-6988. Anonymous tips can also be submitted by calling 1-800-597-TIPS (8477), online at https://gbi.georgia.gov/submit-tips-online, or by downloading the See Something, Send Something mobile app. 

Once the investigation is complete, the case file will be given to the Middle Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for prosecution. 


Special Agent in Charge Lindsey Wilkes


ASAC Kyle McNeal