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North Forsyth man indicted for armed standoff
Mercer Kenneth

NORTH FORSYTH — A man who was the center of an armed standoff last month near Lake Lanier has been indicted by a Forsyth County grand jury for his alleged actions during the incident.

Kenneth Tyrone Mercer, 50, faces four counts of aggravated assault on a peace officer.

About an hour after deputies responded March 5, Mercer was subdued with a Taser in the yard of his Swiss Air Road home.

Though he never fired a weapon at the four deputies involved, Mercer reportedly pointed a shotgun toward them and had fired a different gun prior to their arrival.

Bethel and other roads were closed down during the standoff and nearby homes were evacuated.

At the time, it was thought he had intended to provoke deputies into a “suicide-by-cop” situation. His wife drove to a fire station on nearby Browns Bridge Road to report his hostile behavior.

Negotiators were able to speak with Mercer as he paced his yard and members of the sheriff’s SWAT team approached him in an armored Bearcat personnel carrier.

Just after he lay down his shotgun and deputies were about to take him into custody, Mercer apparently lunged for the weapon before being detained.