Gun fire leads to police standoff - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Gun fire leads to police standoff

June 15, 2005

Cairo-- What started as an administrative call to a mobile home in Grady County led to a life and death situation for Corporal Daniel Singletary.

"I was responding to serve a writ with two subjects who were trying to repo some vehicles," said Singletary. "They were on the property speaking with the gentleman. The gentleman fired a gun a that point in time."

The repo men ran away shortly before Singletary arrived. The suspect, Joseph Bennett, ran inside his home. "It wouldn't have been safe to approach him at that point so I backed off and notified some help," said the deputy.

More deputies arrived, while Thomas County's special response team was on their way. "I was glad all the help showed up when it did," he said.

Deputies caught a break when the suspect ran from the house over to his truck. That gave deputies the opportunity to block him in with their cars.

That's when they took him down and arrested him. "He pulled up on the back side of it, exited his vehicle wielding a gun. As I was exiting my vehicle, I pulled my gun and advised him to drop his gun. He complied."

Compliance that may have saved Bennett's life, as well as Singletary's, proven by the suspect's gun. "It was fully loaded, ready to go."

A high-risk, high-intensity situation Sheriff Harry Young says was just an instant from a different ending. "It was just that close. In just a matter of seconds he would have been dead or an officer would have been shot."

Now, Bennett could be facing a series of charges. "One's going to be aggravated assault on a police officer for the firearm. That's a dangerous situation, but that's our job."

Singletary says other charges will be filed after Bennett's criminal history has been checked. In the meantime, the corporal is back at work and Bennett is being held in the Grady County Jail on suicide watch at the jail. Deputies say he asked them to shoot him after he dropped his gun.

Grady Sheriff's Deputies are deciding exactly what to charge Joseph Bennett with for the standoff. At this point,they're just happy the situation ended the way it did.

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