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Local troopers help in courthouse shooter search

Six troopers from the Thomson Post of the Georgia State Patrol joined hundreds of law enforcement officials who fanned out across Atlanta last week in search of a man accused of killing three people and injuring another at the Fulton County Courthouse.

More than 100 Georgia State Troopers were part of the search, said Georgia State Patrol Trooper First Class Larry Schnall, the agency's public information officer. TFC Schnall briefed reporters Friday afternoon in downtown Atlanta with the stone and glass courthouse as his backdrop.

"Our aviation unit and the entire Georgia State Patrol is dedicated to staying out here as long as it takes," he said.

That included some local faces.

Thomson Post Commander Scott Johnson said troopers from each post in the northern half of the state were deployed to Atlanta.

The six Thomson troopers stayed on detail through much of the day Friday, returning to town late that evening.

"Basically what they did was they met up at a neutral location, and they were just available to follow leads," Cmd. Johnson said. "He changed cars so many times. Every time that updated, we tried to get that updated to the troopers. It was just a matter of following a lead trail and having enough personnel to follow several leads at the same time."

Brian Nichols, 33, was captured Saturday after a woman he was holding hostage called police. In all, he is accused of killing four people -- including a judge, court stenographer, federal customs officer and sheriff's deputy. He's also accused of leaving another sheriff's deputy in the hospital.



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