Police say a daylong manhunt for a murder suspect in North Columbus is over and the suspect is dead.
There was an exchange of gunfire, a police source said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate, said Rodney Wall, special agent in charge of the Columbus office. Wall would not say who shot Dodelin. "That is why we've been called in to investigate," he said. "We're just getting started."
Starting at 7:10 a.m. today, Columbus-area law enforcement had conducted an extensive manhunt for Richard F. "Richie" Dodelin, a Columbus attorney who exchanged gunfire with police attempting to arrest him on a murder charge this morning, Columbus Police Chief Ricky Boren said.
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Dodelin is the son of prominent local attorney Richard A. Dodelin, who specializes in defending DUI cases.
William Hugh Bullard II, 42, was found near Fortson Road after police responded to a 911 call late Monday night, and he was pronounced dead just after midnight.
Boren had said during the manhunt that Dodelin, who was in his 40s and an insulin-dependent Type I diabetic, was armed with a shotgun and was considered dangerous.
The search area was a roughly 2- to 3-square mile area north of Hubbard Road, east of Whitesville Road and west of I-185. The area is just north of the Columbus Welcome Center. Police used dogs and a helicopter to track the suspect in the heavily wooded area, Boren said.
The situation started after 11 p.m. Monday night when police received a 911 call from an unknown woman, according to the police report. She told police her husband had been shot.
Police responded to 84 Lumber Company at 8484 Fortson Road where they found Bullard in front of the gate, shot multiple times, according to the report.
"When officers arrived at the scene, they discovered the lifeless body of a white male lying on the pavement in front of the gate," the report started.
Bullard was shot once in the head and possibly in the back with a pistol, the report stated.
EMTs were unable to revive Bullard, who was pronounced dead at 12:05 a.m. by the coroner's office.
The police investigation led detectives to the house at 1403 Hubbard Road that Dodelin and his family have rented from Columbus attorney Jim Butler since May 1, 2009. They arrived with an arrest warrant, Boren said.
A man ran out of the back of the house, where he encountered police officers.
"He fired at officers as he ran into the wood line," Boren said. A hunter, Dodelin knew the area well.
About 9:30 a.m., the mobile incident command center arrived on the site.
Throughout the day, the Columbus SWAT team was on the scene, as were the sheriff's departments from Muscogee and Harris counties.
Eleven schools were put on lockdown — Northside High, Veterans Middle, North Columbus Elementary, Midland Academy, Double Churches Middle, Double Churches Elementary, Shaw High and Eagle Ridge Elementary in northern Muscogee County, and Mountain Hill Elementary, Creekside School and Mulberry Creek Elementary in southern Harris County.
A review of local court documents suggests that Dodelin had fallen on hard times financially in recent years.
Dodelin defaulted on a loan and was ordered in August to pay about $50,000 owed to SunTrust bank, including interest and attorneys fees.
He owed more than $3,000 on a Target credit card and was sued for that debt in October 2009, court records show. Dodelin also had been sued by DCFS Trust for about $4,000 after he allegedly failed to make lease payments on a vehicle.
Dodelin’s wife, Jill, was recently sued by Capital One for about $1,700, documents show.
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