Spalding County

Deputy shot to death while conducting welfare check at Spalding County home, prompting SWAT standoff

SPALDING COUNTY, Ga. — A man is behind bars after officials say he shot a Spalding County deputy to death, prompting a SWAT standoff.

The incident unfolded at a home on Deason Street Friday morning after the two deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call and a welfare check.

Channel 2 Action News was the first crew on the scene, where law enforcement vehicles lined the side of the road as far as the eye could see.

Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said that the deputies started to cross the yard, and a man inside, identified as Todd Lamont Harper, started shooting at them out of the window with a shotgun.

One of the deputies, identified as Sgt. Marc McIntyre, was shot in the head. The other deputy engaged in a gunfight with the suspect, who barricaded himself inside the house.

Other officers arrived and were able to help get McIntyre away from the gunfire. He was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead hours later.

Another officer sustained an injury to the hand, but was not shot, Dix said. He’s still being treated at the hospital.

Numerous law enforcement agencies assisted Spalding County deputies in the ensuing standoff, which lasted most of the afternoon.

“We breached the whole back side of the house using our armored vehicle and Clayton County’s armored vehicle,” Dix said. “The suspect still would not surrender.”

Hours later, deputies were able to enter the home and found Harper hiding under a bed. He was arrested and taken to jail. Dix said he was combative and had to be carried to the car.


“He continued to tell us he knew where all of us lived and that he was going to kill us all,” Dix said. “We transported him away and he is currently in custody in my jail, where he will stay. He killed my deputy. He’s going to sit in my jail.”

Channel 2 Action News spoke to neighbors in the area, who said they heard what they thought were gunshots before numerous officers descended on the area.

“A policeman went down the road and we heard some shots go off. About seven shots. And then next thing you know they got all sorts of police. They got armored cars out there,” a neighbor said.

The neighbor said he believes the suspect is a veteran who suffers from PTSD.

Dix said officers had responded to the home on similar calls before, but on previous occasions, officers were able to negotiate with him to come out of the home.

Dix added the other deputy would recover but was rattled by witnessing the death of his supervisor, who was an Army veteran who came home to serve his community.

“This supervisor was one of those guys who, every time you saw him would smile. Would call your name from across the parking lot,” an emotional Dix told reporters. “He was a deputy who definitely led by example.”

McIntyre’s body was escorted from Wellstar Hospital in Spalding to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab.

Numerous officers from multiple jurisdictions were at the hospital to pay their respects.

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