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Wounded suspect will face charges
Family in disbelief after shooting
garmon dean


Once released from the hospital, the 38-year-old man shot in a confrontation Thursday with Forsyth County Sheriff’s deputies will face several charges.

Hollis Dean Garmon of Evans Drive underwent surgery for two bullet wounds at North Fulton Hospital, where he remains in stable condition, authorities said.

Garmon, who was wanted for burglary at the time of the shooting, is also being charged with aggravated assault on a police officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

In addition, he faces charges of possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime and theft by receiving stolen property.

Garmon was shot Thursday morning at a residence off Keith Bridge Road.

The two investigators involved in the incident, Tom McCullagh and Sgt. Scott Wilson, have been placed on paid administrative leave pending a Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe.

Sheriff Ted Paxton said Garmon had told the warrants unit weeks ago that he would turn himself in.

Paxton explained that McCullagh and Wilson arrived Thursday at 4345 Keith Bridge Road to talk to the homeowner, who was an acquaintance of Garmon’s, in an effort to determine the suspect's whereabouts.

But as Wilson walked around to the back of the mobile home, Garmon ran out and over to a pickup where he grabbed a shotgun.

“During all this time, Sgt. Wilson’s giving commands to stop,” Paxton said. “He sees the weapon. Sgt. Wilson draws his weapon, gives him commands to drop the weapon, drop the gun.”

Paxton said Garmon stated during the exchange that he wouldn’t comply and pointed the firearm at Wilson, who then fired.

“Mr. Garmon was struck twice,” Paxton said. “The locations of the wounds are consistent with the sequence of events.”

Paxton said McCullagh heard the confrontation, but that it had ended by the time he reached the back of the mobile home.

“In firearms training we are all taught to fire until the threat is stopped and that’s what happened,” Paxton said. “As soon as Mr. Garmon was down, then that was it. There were no more shots fired as soon as he went down.”

The homeowner was not present at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

James Reece, Garmon’s uncle, said his nephew is in intensive care and has not been allowed visitors.

“I just don’t believe Dean would’ve pulled a gun and threatened a police officer,” said Reece, adding that Garmon has a wife and children.

He said the incident has him concerned. His niece was on the phone with Garmon as the situation unfolded. According to Reece, she didn’t hear anyone say “stop” but heard someone say “we’re opening fire.”

Paxton said Garmon has an “extensive criminal history.”

He was released from prison in October 2009 after serving about four months on theft and drug charges, Georgia Department of Corrections records show.

Garmon, who was first arrested by Forsyth County authorities in 1992, has been charged with a litany of offenses over the years.

According to jail records, the charges range from theft and embezzlement to possession of methamphetamine and cruelty to children.

Paxton said investigators have determined that the shotgun in Thursday's encounter had been stolen in a burglary in Cherokee County.

He said the GBI investigation is standard procedure when deputies are involved in a shooting.

“That’s routine to have an independent investigative agency come in and do those so everybody can rest assured there’s no conflict of interest in the investigation,” Paxton said.

Records show that McCullagh, 30, has been with the agency since Dec. 30, 2003, and Wilson, 41, has worked for the sheriff’s office since Jan. 8, 1996.

No other injuries were reported in connection with the incident.

The shooting is the first involving a local sheriff's deputy since August 2009.

In that case, authorities pursued a bank robbery suspect to a gas station in the Midway community.

The man was shot and killed after he refused to drop his weapon.

The two deputies involved were cleared of any wrongdoing.