Someone had asked about a manhunt…I believe this was the outcome of that manhunt.

From the Villa Rican:

Wanted man shoots himself
by Spencer Crawford/Villa Rican

What police suspect might have been a murder-suicide plot in Temple stemming from a domestic situation was avoided, but a two-day, two-state manhunt for the suspect ended when the man killed himself in Douglas County.

James Ward Smith, 36, of Douglas County was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound Thursday. Temple police, as well as law enforcement agencies across north Georgia and Alabama, had been looking for him since Tuesday night.

According to Temple police, Smith had two outstanding destruction of property warrants stemming from domestic incidents last year in which he kicked in the door and slashed the tires of his ex-girlfriend living in Temple’s Amy Ridge subdivision. Smith and the woman have a child together.

Police were notified Monday that Smith had called the woman making threats and said he would be at her house on Tuesday at 8 p.m. to see her and the child. A patrolman was sent to do surveillance in the subdivision around the house due to the relationship’s past history.

“We had been called to the house several times in the fall and winter leading up to now,” Temple police Chief Ed Whitt said. “They were scared so they notified Temple police.”

Whitt said near the time Smith said he would be at the house, the officer on the scene pulled over two women who drove near the house acting suspicious. The driver said she was lost and heading home to Douglasville. With nothing to hold the women on, the officer let them go, though it was later discovered that the driver had dropped Smith off near his ex-girlfriend’s house.

A short time later, police say Smith’s ex-girlfriend pulled into her driveway, where Smith was hiding behind a car. He allegedly tapped the window of the woman’s car with the barrel of a pistol and demanded she get out. At that time, she threw the car in reverse.

When the officer conducting surveillance in the neighborhood arrived at the home Smith fled on foot.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that he was there to kill her and kill himself,” Temple police Capt. Tim Shaw said.

Two hours later it was discovered that Smith had run through the woods and stolen a truck from a nearby home on Lakeview Drive, which led to several agencies getting involved in the search.

“When he stole the truck, that expedited the process,” Shaw said.

Smith’s family was tracked down in Lafayette, Ga., and they confirmed he had been there on Wednesday and they had tried to talk him into turning himself in, but he refused to do so and was thought to be headed toward Summerville.

“We had people all over north Georgia and Alabama out looking for this guy,” Shaw said. “It got real hot real quick because we were concerned that he was desperate and suicidal and whoever stopped him may have to shoot it out with him.”

Whitt said a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy called him Thursday with the news that Smith had been found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, ending the manhunt.

“At least nobody else was hurt,” Shaw said. “That’s what I was worried about the most.”

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