On March 28, 2021, at approximately 7:15 pm., Valdosta Police Officers responded to a residence in the 1900 block of Williams Street after a citizen called 911 to report that a person had been shot. When they arrived on the scene, officers began assisting citizens who were providing first aid to a 51-year-old female on the scene, who had injuries to her torso. Emergency Medical Services arrived and transported the victim to the hospital. Detectives and Crime Scene Personnel responded to the scene and conducted the investigation.
While speaking with officers on the scene, the victim stated the offender, later identified as Matias Thomas, stole her vehicle and fled the scene. A be on the lookout (BOLO) was immediately issued for the victim’s vehicle and a Patrol Officer observed the vehicle at the intersection of North Ashley Street and East Gordon Street. As the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, Thomas accelerated at a high rate of speed. Officers pursued Thomas south on South 41 Highway into Hamilton County, Florida, with the assistance of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Park Police Department, Echols County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia State Patrol, and Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. Thomas wrecked in Hamilton County, and he fled on foot from the vehicle. Personnel from numerous agencies conducted a manhunt for Thomas but were unable to locate him.
On March 29, 2021, Deputies with the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office identified Thomas from a BOLO that had been issued by the Valdosta Police Department. Deputies took him into custody without incident. Thomas is currently being held at the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office, awaiting extradition back to Lowndes County. He is facing charges of:
- Aggravated assault-felony;
- Aggravated battery-felony;
- Theft by taking motor vehicle-felony;
- Possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony-felony;
- Armed robbery-felony;
- Fleeing and attempting to elude-misdemeanor; and
- Reckless driving.
“This was an outstanding effort by all of our local law enforcement working together to ensure that this dangerous offender was taken into custody.”
Chief Leslie Manahan