According to newly released dashcam video, the sequence of events leading up to the murders of two white Georgia sheriff’s deputies nearly two years ago began with a 20-second roadside encounter.
Kelvin Ross used his cellphone camera to capture live-action video while riding a four-wheeler on a countryside-neighborhood road when he and a friend approached the south end of Hardison Road, about 10 miles northeast of Fort Valley, Georgia.
That’s when they came across Ralph Stanley Elrod Jr., who was lurking at the end of his driveway, armed with a shotgun. The shocked motorcyclists eased to a stop in front of the man while taking in the scene. Neighbors in response to the commotion called the police.
Ross’s cellphone recording of their November 2016 encounter, and police dashcam footage from sheriff deputy patrol cars (that would later arrive to deal with the confrontation) paint a shockingly clear picture of the tragic and confusing events that took place that Sunday afternoon.
Investigators still can’t pinpoint exactly what compelled Elrod to whip out a Glock 43 pistol and execute the two lawmen who arrived to arrest him for threatening the bikers. Elrod’s son, Jarrod, who coincidently was a sheriff’s deputy in another county, would later speculate that his father was bitter, angry, and known for his unpredictability — especially when he was drinking.
On the day of the shooting, Elrod admitted to investigators that he had downed at least a six-pack.
Now footage obtained by The Telegraph shows those fateful minutes before and after the slayings.
Last week, the as 57-year-old pleaded guilty to murdering deputies Daryl Smallwood and Patrick Sondron. Although he faced a death penalty trial, his plea led to two life-without-parole sentences. He may spend the rest of his life in prison, but he’ll be alive to do so. He wasn’t immediately seen as a threat or shot dead upon the arrival of the two sheriff’s deputies. He was pre-summed innocent until a jury of his peers found him guilty of murder.