Image copyright Florida Department of Law Enforcement Image caption A man, 28, was charged with second-degree murder and battery in the death of Georgia officer Benjamin Deen
An “accidental” car crash in Georgia has now been linked to two murders committed by a man wanted for fatally stabbing a police officer on Tuesday, a sheriff says.
Nicholas Eugene Mitchell, 28, was charged with second-degree murder and battery in the death of lawman Benjamin Deen, 44.
Mr Mitchell is now also being investigated for two separate homicides.
His public defender in Georgia did not respond to BBC News’ request for comment.
Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Kristie Huskey told the Associated Press news agency that Mr Mitchell was using a motorcycle in a Maywood, Georgia, parking lot when it collided with a car and flipped several times.
Mitchell was found injured and taken to hospital. Ms Huskey said he suffered “serious head trauma”.
Image copyright NBC Image caption CNN affiliate WSB-TV, said one of the bodies was Mr Deen’s partner
Police did not learn Mitchell was a suspect in a double homicide in Marshfield, Wisconsin, until they picked him up on Wednesday.
The same body was later found inside the Marshfield apartment of Aaron Utzschneider, 26, who is Mr Mitchell’s next-door neighbour, WESH-TV reports.
WESH-TV said they had returned from a two-year deployment in the Middle East.
WSB-TV had posted an obituary for Mr Utzschneider online.
“I can’t imagine why someone would want to hurt us. Now we just want peace,” Mr Utzschneider’s brother – identified only as Anthony – told WSB-TV in a phone interview.
Image copyright AP Image caption Mr Mitchell was driving the bike when he crashed the bike and rolled it several times, Harris County Sheriff’s spokesperson Sheronda Jackson said
The arrest happened after officers tracked Mr Mitchell to a marsh near Grayburg, Georgia, about 30 miles west of Atlanta.
The bureau of criminal investigations and the FBI are now investigating the murders of Mr Utzschneider and Mr Deen, who was shot in his uniform.
Georgia’s fugitive task force later arrested two teenagers, 16 and 17, in the city of Cobb. Their names were not released.
Mr Mitchell is being held without bond at the DeKalb County Jail.
He is also a suspect in a domestic dispute in Nassau County, Maryland, that caused a bloody scene but resulted in no injuries, WJLA-TV reports.
This followed the death of a woman in her home and left her partner, the Fulton County sheriff’s department said.
However, it is unclear whether the suspect and the victim knew each other.
The couple were identified as Aleta Franklin, 33, and Jackeeshia Wilson, 36. It was thought that they knew the suspect, but it has not been confirmed.
He was also a suspect in an attempted robbery in Dade City, Florida, that same night, which resulted in injury to the suspect.
He got out of the car and ran, WJAX-TV reports.
Officers eventually found him about 60km away in Glenwood, where he was arrested.
Image copyright Jemal Hussein/Jemal Hussein Facebook
A witness, Jemal Hussein, said he saw the suspect with “bullets flying” and a baby in his arms in the parking lot of a pharmacy.
The police say that there are no indications that Mr Mitchell had the baby. The scene remains active.
The school superintendent in Ebenezer, Georgia, where Deen worked, said the baby was a boy.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Deen killed a young man inside a mobile home in Levittown, Georgia
Mr Deen’s police department had asked for the public’s help to find the suspect after the shootings in Levittown, north of Atlanta.
“All of us at the Levittown Police Department are devastated, shocked and in disbelief by the loss of our brother, Benjamin Deen,” police chief Randy Moore said in a statement.