Father tracks daughter’s cell phone, shoots at and beats up boy he finds her with, deputies say

HABERSHAM COUNTY, Ga. — A Habersham County father tracked his daughter’s cell phone to a church and fired a gun at a boy she was fighting with, the sheriff’s office said.

The shooting prompted two nearby schools to go on lockdown.

Deputies say they were called the sound of gunshots on the 200 block of Hwy. 197 near Habersham 9th Grade Academy and Habersham Central High School.

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Habersham County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Kevin Angell reiterated that the shooting did not happen on either school’s campus.

The Sheriff’s Office said that witnesses reported the sound of a gunshot and a young man and woman fighting. When deputies arrived, they found 36-year-old Dustin Vandegrift trying to leave the scene in a Chevy Camaro. He was detained for questioning.


Vandergrift told investigators that he tracked his daughter’s cell phone to the back of the church and decided to check on her. He confronted the teens and physically attacked the boy before pulling out a gun.

The young woman told deputies that her father appeared behind the church, battered the boy she was with and then shot at him. She said her father then hit her.

Investigators initially thought the boy was shot, but later determined the injuries he sustained were from the physical assault and debris ricochet.

Vandergrift has been charged with aggravated assault, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, cruelty to children, reckless endangerment and simple battery.

The sheriff’s office searched Vandergrift’s vehicle and recovered a gun.

The Sheriff’s Office said that there is no danger to the public and that the investigation is ongoing.

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