Cherokee County

Homeowner fires at masked men who broke into home

CHEROKEE COUNTY, Ga. — Cherokee County sheriff's investigators are searching for a man wanted in connection with a home invasion and shootout.

Deputies say Justin Pruitt, 29, is one of two masked men who broke into a home near Old Mill Road early Tuesday morning ant shot at a homeowner.

"They knew my little girl was here and they brought guns and were shooting. They didn't care," Mindy Lingerfelt said.

Lingerfelt said the men told her husband to put his hands behind his back.

"He had his gun between the mattress and he told them that they would have to kill him before he puts his hands behind his back," she said.


She said her husband pushed a dresser on top of them and they ran, but not before starting a shootout.

Police said the homeowner fired back, but it is unclear whether either masked man was injured.

One of the shots went through a 3-year-old child's bedroom.

"There's actually a bullet hole through her window, and when I saw that, I hit my knees," Lingerfelt said.

Investigators said several items were taken from the home.

They said one of the men dropped a gun and they also left behind a duffel bag and duct tape.

Police are working to find Pruitt and identify and find the other burglar.

"He's considered armed and dangerous at this point and if anyone comes across him, just call 911," Cherokee County Sgt. Marianne Kelley said.