On November 18, 2016, members of the United States Marshals Service's Southern District of Georgia and its Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force sought to locate and arrest a fugitive wanted for multiple counts of attempted murder of police officers. They were attempting to serve warrants related to a vehicle pursuit that took place on September 18, 2016, when the fugitive shot at officers with an assault rifle in Sumter County, South Carolina. He was able to evade capture and later fled to Allenhurst, Georgia.
The task force members traveled to a trailer that was the suspected location and residence of the fugitive. After clearing the rear of the trailer, Deputy Commander Patrick Carothers led his team to the front. Upon entering a bedroom area, Deputy Commander Carothers was confronted by the fugitive brandishing a handgun. The fugitive opened fire, striking Deputy Commander Carothers in the arm and chest. Although mortally wounded, Deputy Commander Carothers returned accurate fire in an attempt to protect his entry team and himself. The fugitive fired at the rest of the team through the open door of the bedroom and its walls. The members of the entry team collectively returned fire.
Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Ramiro Suarez, who was directly behind Deputy Commander Carothers when he was struck by the initial gunfire, was able to crawl to cover. Upon seeing the extent of Deputy Commander Carothers' injuries, he moved while under direct fire by the fugitive, to his fallen comrade in order to render aid. Deputy U.S. Marshal James Turner, also seeing that the Deputy Commander was wounded, moved to help remove Carothers from the trailer to safety. Deputy U.S. Marshal Robert Doherty then returned fire from an exposed position within the trailer, striking the fugitive multiple times and ending the gunfight.
The fugitive was mortally wounded in the exchange and died later at the hospital. Deputy Commander Carothers, who was also mortally wounded, succumbed to his injuries on the scene. Deputy Commander Carothers' selfless acts and leadership during this encounter helped to prevent injury to his team and serves as an exceptional act of bravery. Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Suarez and Deputy U.S. Marshals Turner and Doherty each acted with decisiveness and gallantry under extreme circumstances in order to rescue their fallen comrade and end the assault by the fugitive.
The actions of fallen Deputy Commander Carothers, Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Suarez, and Deputy U.S. Marshals Turner and Doherty demonstrated extraordinary bravery, decisiveness, and a willingness to protect the lives of others, without regard to their own personal safety.
On August 1, 2018, Representatives Buddy Carter (GA) and Mark Sanford (SC) presented the Congressional Badge of Bravery the next-of-kin of one fallen recipient, and to 3 other recipients.