PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. - Police are investigating after a gunman shot three people, killing one, in a Paulding County neighborhood Tuesday afternoon.
The SWAT team was called to the scene on Pine Valley Drive just outside of Hiram.
As deputies arrived, the gunman, identified as 65-year-old William Arnett, of Powder Springs, fired shots at them.
“Next thing I know, it’s like someone lit a pack of firecrackers. It was just steady going off,” said one neighbor.
The neighborhood was evacuated, with residents directed to a nearby fire station.
Paulding County neighbors staging at a gas station while police deal with man who allegedly shot at deputies. pic.twitter.com/0052ABHiLo— Matt Johnson (@MJohnsonWSB) July 5, 2016
“I grabbed my kids, I grabbed my keys and I yelled, ‘Let’s go!’” the neighbor said.
The victims were identified as Jeff Adams, 52, and Ann Adams, 47, both of Dallas, and Denise Basnett, 48, of Clarksville, Tennessee.
Jeff Adams died at the hospital. Ann Adams and Basnett were also taken to the hospital, and are expected to recover.
“They are great people,” the couple’s pastor, Rodney Carson, said.
Carson comforted friends when they learned Jeff Adams had died.
“He helps people all the time. He’s always there to help,” Carson said about Jeff Adams. “(His family) needs not only our prayers, but everybody’s prayers.”
Friends say Jeff Adams, who was a father, was in the process of moving to a new home. He and his family had gone to the old house to get some things when they were shot by Arnett.
Police say Arnett was known to them and had made threats to them before. Neighbors say they’ve complained about Arnett for years.
Some neighbors say Adams moved to get away from Arnett because of a long-standing feud between the two men.
The standoff lasted for several hours. Deputies used tear gas to try to coax Arnett from the home.
Hours into the standoff, police found Arnett in his backyard, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, with a handgun and an AR-15 nearby.
Neighbors said they noticed something was off about Arnett.
"No, he didn't seem that dangerous. Just the way he looked, he seemed off," one neighbor said.
Other neighbors believe Arnett suffered from Alzheimers disease and said he had been sliding downhill since his wife died a decade ago.
"That doesn't excuse anything at all, but he had a legitimate illness behind it. It wasn't a case of another wacko picking up a gun and deciding to do something like this. It's just terrible all the way around," another neighbor said.
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