According to Bartow County Sheriff’s Office reports, the Winterwood Court resident had fired two shots at his wife just before 1 a.m. The woman said the man had been drinking heavily since 9:30 p.m. Dec. 24 over suspicions that a family member was having an affair.
The man had entered the bedroom and cursed the family member, waking his wife. When she told him to stop, he allegedly grabbed his wife and slammed her into the wall. After she attempted to flee, the man fired one shot from a handgun from a distance of about 10 feet, missing her. She fled to the kitchen to get her keys and cellphone when he again fired toward her, telling her, “I could have hit you if I wanted to,” the reported stated. The woman went to a neighbor’s and called 911.
When deputies arrived, the initial deputy parked in a position where he could observe the front yard and a portion of the backyard. The wife advised the man had a “.44 or some kind of handgun, a shotgun and a WWII rifle — probably a Mauser,” according to the report.
The deputy reported that the sergeant contacted the suspect and attempted to negotiate the man’s surrender. The man told deputies he was going to kill himself. The sergeant “maintained phone contact with [the suspect] for a prolonged period of time attempting to talk [the suspect] out of suicide,” the report stated.
Once the man advised he was going to turn on the gas inside the residence, Bartow County Fire Department and Atlanta Gas Light were called in. Residents in six homes around the area were evacuated as a precaution.
Shortly thereafter, the suspect broke off contact, eventually turning on a light after deputies made contact over the loudspeaker. Deputies, using a ballistic shield, approached the home and removed the power meter to disable the security lights and the gas was turned off minutes later. After the wife provided keys, deputies again approached the house and set off an interior alarm when they opened the garage door. No odor of gas was detected inside the house, so deputies backed away and took up surveillance positions.
An additional deputy arrived to attempt negotiations but received no response. At 6:45 a.m. deputies returned to their vehicles “as no one was in imminent danger, and [the suspect] had been unresponsive to the pleas for his surrender.” A deputy was posted at a distance to observe the house.
Just after 11 a.m. Christmas Day, deputies were called back to the residence after family members found the suspect deceased inside.
The Daily Tribune News made attempts to receive reports on the incident, which did not become available until Thursday.