Suspect in Lee Co. manhunt identified - WFXG FOX 54 - News Now

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Suspect in Lee Co. manhunt identified

Tory Bernard Hardy (Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office) Tory Bernard Hardy (Source: Lee County Sheriff's Office)
A manhunt is underway for the gunmen who shot at law officers early Tuesday morning outside of Lee State Prison. (Source: WALB) A manhunt is underway for the gunmen who shot at law officers early Tuesday morning outside of Lee State Prison. (Source: WALB)
Lee State Prison (Source: WALB) Lee State Prison (Source: WALB)
Officials searched the area with K9 units. (Source: WALB) Officials searched the area with K9 units. (Source: WALB)
Colonel Dennis Parker (Source: WALB) Colonel Dennis Parker (Source: WALB)
LEE CO., GA (WALB) -

Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals has identified the suspect in the center of a manhunt in Lee County Tuesday.

Tory Bernard Hardy was found on Pinewood Road around 8:37 p.m. after the sheriff's office got anonymous phone calls about a suspicious man matching the suspect description.

The Lee County Sheriff said they found Hardy walking down the road soliciting rides.

He said officers have not recovered the gun used in that incident yet, but they found marijuana and cell phones in the backpack they recovered on the scene of the incident. 

Officials are still searching for the person who drove Hardy to the prison yesterday morning. 

Hardy is now facing drug and weapons charges, as well as aggravated assault. 

Officials said Hardy and possibly others drove up to the prison, possibly trying to sneak contraband over the prison gates, and when officers approached them, the suspects shot at the officers.

The corrections officers involved were not hurt. 

Hardy was caught near the prison Tuesday night. He was taken into custody by Lee County deputies and is being questioned by the Department of Corrections.

Officials spent most of the day searching the area around the prison but later called off the intensive searching in that area.

Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were meticulously searching every car that passed through the area. 

When asked how long officials would be out there, Leesburg Police Captain Chris Prokesh responded, "As long as it takes."

The Leesburg Police Department, along with deputies from the Lee Co. Sheriff's Office and troopers with the Georgia State Patrol were all stationed out on Jordan Road. 

"Make sure that the perimeter is secure and that if the suspect is still in the woods, we keep him contained," said Lee County Sheriff's Colonel Dennis Parker.

Hardy was wanted after officials said a group of people drove up to the Lee State Prison around 2 a.m. Tuesday.

"The only description we have is a heavy set black male, dressed in black clothing," said Colonel Parker. "The other one left the scene in the car."

In addition to checking the cars passing through the perimeter, deputies were going door to door, speaking with folks who live in the area.

K9 units parked in one home's driveway, searching the surrounding wooded areas. 

"We're receiving information over the radio from the K9 units that are searching that believe that they may have a track somewhere out in this wood line," said Captain Prokesh. 

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