JONESBORO — A Henry County man is dead after police say he killed two others, then led officers on a dangerous high-speed chase with gunfire through Jonesboro Monday afternoon.
Donnie Hall, who was wanted by the Henry County Police Department as a person of interest in related homicides in two Hampton locations Monday, was found dead after Jonesboro Police, Clayton County Police and Clayton County Sheriff’s deputies chased him through Jonesboro during rush hour.
Hall’s son-in-law, Robert Bogel, told the News Hall had drug problems and wrongly believed a family friend, Ali Grace, and Hall’s wife, Anne Hall, were having an affair. Grace was an employee of a company owned by Hall’s brother and a married man with small children.
Police say Hall shot both Grace and his wife Monday morning at two different locations, then fled. Hall had posted an apparent suicide note on his Facebook page around 8 a.m. Monday about the time Grace was shot.
Anne Hall had filed a temporary protective order against Donnie Hall on Sept. 3 related to domestic violence charges. They were due in court Thursday. Donnie Hall also was a registered sex offender following a 1999 child molestation conviction.
More than a dozen Henry County Police vehicles investigated crime scenes on Steele Drive and then Carl Parker Drive Monday.
At Steele Drive, Bogel stood with several neighbors across the street from a bloodstain in the grass where Grace had died. Bogel said he was just getting his coffee when someone tapped on his front window. He went out the back door, saw nothing, then went out the front. “That’s when I seen him and I seen the other guy walking over to him. I shook him, and he wasn’t dang moving, didn’t say nothing, and — Man, I didn’t figure he was shot, though. I never heard any shots.”
Pastor Diane Chrispen-Williams said, “And he told me (the victim) had got hit by something out here. He didn’t know at the time.”
At Carl Parker Drive, police cars blocked off the street as investigators strode up and down the driveway of a house where an HCPD trailer was parked and crime scene tape marked the scene around noon Monday.
According to the GBI, a citizen reported seeing Hall in Clayton County about 4:26 p.m. on Tara Boulevard. When Jonesboro Police spotted his truck, “Hall reportedly shot at officers from his moving vehicle during a high speed chase along Fayetteville Road. Hall and Jonesboro PD officers exchanged gunfire at the intersection of Fayetteville Road and Tara Boulevard after officers forcibly tried to stop him with their patrol car. Hall fled the scene in his vehicle after the shooting.” About 5:21 p.m., the GBI said, Jonesboro Police, Clayton County Police and Clayton County Sheriff’s deputies found Hall’s truck on Sunnydale Lane, “approached and found Hall dead inside his vehicle. No shots were fired at the Sunnydale Lane location.”
The investigation shut down Fayetteville Road in Jonesboro between Smith Street and Tara Boulevard well into Monday night, backing up northbound traffic on Tara Boulevard.
Witnesses said they almost jumped the curb to get out of Hall’s way as his pickup truck ran from a string of police cars. Patrice Tyler and Sherika Washington said Hall “turned in that gas station. He came on a high-speed chase with about 10 cars behind him,” Tyler said. “Then he turned into the gas station and the police tried to block him off and smacked into his white pickup truck. Then he took off again. He hit a car at the red light, then he took off on another high-speed chase with them.”
Both said Hall had a shotgun. “’Cause he had did it like this,” Washington said, gesturing as if pumping a shotgun. “When he was coming down this way, he had it out the window, and then he had brought it back in.” She added Hill was “pointing it to the police.”
Jonesboro Police Chief Clifford Kelker said, “The officers were dispatched to a murder suspect at the Quiktrip on Tara Boulevard. When they arrived, the vehicle pulled out of the Quiktrip and went north on Tara Boulevard. The officers attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the vehicle fled at a high rate of speed. The officers pursued and after a short distance the suspect fired multiple rounds at the officers. The officers attempted to PIT the vehicle unsuccessfully and began to return fire.”
Although officers briefly lost Hall, Kelker said the suspect “was found less than an hour later on Sunnydale Lane in Jonesboro deceased in the vehicle. It is undetermined what killed him at this time.”
No officers were injured. The GBI will conduct an autopsy and investigation, then turn over the matter to the Clayton County District Attorney’s office.