Photo by Elaine Rackley
Henry County Police Detectives and Henry County Fire Investigators returned to the scene Tuesday, of a house fire and death. Jerry Camp set his Locust Grove house on fire, Friday and later died at his home of a self-inflicted gun shot wound, according to police.
LOCUST GROVE — Investigators from the Henry County Police and Fire departments returned to a Locust Grove home, Tuesday, where a man’s body was recovered following a house fire.
Authorities searched through the charred debris looking for evidence. Some firefighters armed with shovels joined in the search, before a bulldozer demolished the home.
Police said Jerry Camp is suspected of setting the blaze before he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, according to Henry County Police Maj. Jason Bolton.
A Henry County police officer conducted a welfare check on Camp, Friday around 11 p.m., at his home located at 1220 Destiny Court in the Wolf Creek subdivision.
“The officer attempted to make contact with Mr. Camp by knocking on the front door,” said the major. “The officer heard what he said sounded like gunshots and smelled smoke.”
Bolton said the officer tactically withdrew from the residence and called for police back-up as well as the fire department.
Witnesses told police Camp, 36, threatened to shoot himself and burn his house down, said the major.
“Although the Fire Department's investigation is still ongoing, as far as the cause and origin of the fire, all indications at this time point towards the victim setting the house on fire prior to shooting himself,” continued Bolton.
Police outlined where Camp’s vehicle blocked the driveway to prevent any cars from entering.
“Anytime we respond to a potentially active shooter situation and law enforcement is in command, it is standard operating practice for fire personnel to remain in staging until advised by law enforcement that the scene is secure,” said Henry Fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett. “Once law enforcement advised the scene was secure, fire department personnel moved in and began fire suppression operations.”
George Sawyer lives in the Wolf Creek subdivision. Sawyer said when he returned home Friday night he saw nearly 20 Henry County Police cars blocking the Destiny Court road.
“The house was not on fire, when I got home around midnight,” said Sawyer. He said most of the neighborhood was outside watching the incident unfold. “The next thing I know I saw flames shooting out of the left side of the house, then the whole house went up in flames.”
Pastor Ray Hill of Rex Memorial Baptist Church in Stockbridge lives two doors down and said he did not know Camp.
“Sometimes people think one event is the last event of their lives, so hey, they think just end it,” said Pastor Hill. “But, God is able. He is the mighty deliverer. He can deliver you from any situation, when you call on Him. Nothing was accomplished by this, what a wasteless disaster. He left behind love ones, family and friends that will always ask why?”