VIENNA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Joseph Harper is the Vienna man who died after a stand off with the Dooly County Sheriff’s Office Friday.
Investigators with the GBI said deputies went to Harper’s Nelson Corner Road home after Harper called the sheriff’s office about someone putting property on his front lawn. Harper was involved in a divorce. He and his ex-wife were scheduled to separate property at his residence on April 16th at 9 a.m.
Dooly County deputies saw Harper standing on the front porch wearing a bullet proof vest with several guns in holsters holding a shotgun. A family member of his ex-wife’s was also at the home. Deputies told the individual to leave. Deputies also left and called Sheriff Craig Peavy, according to a news release from the GBI.
Sheriff Peavy and several deputies returned to the home to try and de-escalate the situation and retrieve the remaining property according to a court order. Investigators said Harper came out of the home and pointed the shogun at the deputies and sheriff. Sheriff Peavy requested a Special Response Team (SRT) to help.
The Superior Court of Dooly County issued an arrest warrant charging Harper with aggravated assault.
Members of the Crisp, Turner and Tift SRT Team as well as the Lowndes County SWAT and GSP SWAT showed up at Harper’s home. Harper came out of the home wearing a bullet proof vest and gas mask while holding multiple guns, according to the news release.
Negotiations between law enforcement and Harper were unsuccessful. Harper started shooting at the deputies. At least one shot was fired back by law enforcement, according to the GBI. Harper kept shooting at deputies and SRT members. SRT members released gas canisters to try and stop Harper. A gunshot was heard from inside the residence, according to the news release.
Law enforcement sent a robot into the home and found Harper dead in the living room. An autopsy will be performed. No officers were injured during the shooting.
The GBI is conducting an independent investigation to determine what happened. When the investigation is complete, it will be turned over to the Dooly County District Attorney’s Office for any action lawyers deem appropriate.
Police from multiple agencies entered into a stand-off with an individual from Dooly County Friday morning.
Police exchanged gunfire with and killed the gunman.
The GBI did not say if it was a man or a woman.
It was because of domestic dispute around 8:30 a.m.
No officers were injured.
A GBI investigation has begun to find out more about what happened.
Stick with 41NBC for updates on the story.