Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson said that a bystander who shot and injured a male suspect who was assaulting a sheriff's deputy likely saved the life of the deputy, as well as other potential victims.
According to Johnson, the deputy, Sgt. Randy Harkness, had dropped the suspect off at the Chevron on Ga. 400 near the McDonald's following a courtesy ride. Harkness was in the process of giving him money when the suspect began to assault him.
During the assault, a female bystander shot the suspect, Johnson said. The suspect then fled across the road to the McDonald’s parking lot where he assaulted an elderly woman.
Additional “good Samaritans” at the McDonald’s detained the suspect until officers arrived, Johnson said.
The incident occurred around 2:40 p.m. Dec. 5.
"I truly believe through her actions he's here today," Johnson said Tuesday about the female bystander who shot and injured the suspect.
It is not likely she will face any charges.
Harkness, 52, has worked for the sheriff’s office for nearly 24 years. He received serious injuries to his head and neck and was transported to an area hospital. He has since been released.
The elderly woman was also struck in the head and transported. She has also been released.
The suspect was also transported to an area hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound. He is still in the hospital under guard, Johnson said.
All are expected to recover from their injuries.
The identities of the suspect and elderly woman, as well as the identities of the good Samaritans, have not been released at this time.
Johnson said the sheriff's office is currently working with the District Attorney's office on charges.
Check back for updates.