GBI: Armed man dead after SWAT situation; wife found dead inside garage

GBI: Armed man dead after SWAT situation; wife found dead inside garage

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. — Investigators told Channel 2 Action News a domestic dispute led to a man's shooting death and the discovery of his wife's body.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said SWAT officers were called to a Newton County neighborhood late Monday night. SWAT officers ended up shooting and killing an armed man hiding in a closet in a home on Megan Court.

They found his wife's body in the garage.

Content Continues Below

The man and woman have been identified as Daryl Johannesson, 56, and Erin Smith, 40.

Channel 2's Tom Regan learned Newton County police were responding to a domestic violence call at the couple's home. They found blood in the driveway and called for backup from the sheriff's SWAT team.

Regan was at the scene Tuesday, where plywood still covered the front door, which was kicked in by officers.

Regan talked to neighbors who heard the gunfire.

Tammy Watkins said she and her husband called 911 after hearing the shots Monday night.

"We were sitting right there," Watkins said. "We heard gunshots really close to us."


SWAT officers arrived on the scene and searched the home. They found Johannesson hiding in a closet with a gun.

"The SWAT officer fired his weapon, but there is also a possibility of a self-inflicted gunshot wound because there was a handgun recovered," Nelly Miles, with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, said.

Smith was found dead in the garage, shot several times.

Neighbors said the couple had a young son who was away at camp.

Tom Singleton told Regan that he sold the house to the couple. He said Johannesson was a long haul truck driver and Smith worked for the government.

"Never had any harsh words," Singleton said. "They were nice and calm. Seemed happy."

Watkins said she never heard the couple having problems.

"Never heard them fussing or fighting," Watkins said. "Nothing like that."

Singleton said he was shocked at what happened in his quiet neighborhood.

"It's just horrible. We have a pretty calm and peaceful neighborhood here and for this to happen, it's very tragic," Singleton said.

The GBI has not said if Johannesson threatened the SWAT officer with his gun. Authorities are still trying to determine what happened before the SWAT officer opened fire.

This is the 44th officer-involved shooting the GBI has been called in to investigate this year.