Manhunt ends, suspect arrested after high-speed chase that killed Montgomery County Sheriff

A suspect who led authorities on a high-speed chase overnight that resulted in a crash that claimed the life of the Montgomery County sheriff has been arrested after being on the run for about 12 hours.  It started as a traffic stop in Toombs County. Deputies tried to pull a vehicle over, but it took off instead and a chase ensued.  The suspects in the fleeing vehicle were identified as 35-year-old Jim Edward Lowery and 36-year-old Dixie Best. At one point, Lowery and Best reportedly fired shots at the deputies.

Montgomery County Sheriff Ladson O’Connor had joined the chase as backup when it came his way.  A crash occurred during the chase on Georgia Highway 56 near the Toombs/Montgomery County line.  Officials confirmed that the crash took the life of Sheriff O’Conner. It is still unknown what caused the sheriff to crash at this time.  Deputies, state troopers and SWAT team members assembled a massive manhunt for Lowery by land and by air. Best was arrested right away, but Lowery remained on the run for more nearly 12 hours. He was captured an arrested around 9:15 a.m. A man in the McNatt Falls community spotted Lowery and called for help.

Deputies say Lowery shot at them before they were able to wound him in the leg and arrest him. He is currently undergoing medical treatment, then he will be escorted to jail for questioning.  Investigators are still trying to figure out why the duo did not pull over when deputies attempted to stop them.  Lowery and Best are facing multiple charges.  Sheriff O’Connor took office just three years ago. He leaves behind a wife and four children.
An autopsy will be performed on Tuesday at the GBI Crime Lab in Savannah.

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