GILES COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — God, gear, and training were credited for saving the lives of several deputies in Giles County after a standoff turned into a shootout Thursday morning.
“It’s a miracle… God’s on our side, and thank God for it,” Giles County Sheriff Kyle Helton said. “I know I have four deputies that could be hurt real bad right now or even could be fatal.”
The Giles County Sheriff’s Office first responded to the home on Fairview Road in Lynnville about an unwanted guest trespassing shortly before 1 a.m. on Thursday, May 18. Helton said the man who later fired at deputies was the one who made the call.
“The person in custody had contacted about trespassers. He didn’t respond, so they left,” he explained. “And then they get called back a couple hours later about shots fired.”
When the deputies returned to the house around 2:30 a.m., officials said they safely removed the family members from the scene.
After hearing additional gunshots, authorities headed toward the house, which is when the barricaded man allegedly fired on them.
“Four of our deputies approached the house, and they’re the ones that took on the fire, the gunfire,” said Helton.
However, the department’s tactical gear stopped those bullets, allowing all four deputies to survive the incident, according to Helton.
“We had one deputy take a shot in the chest today, and his ballistic vest stopped it, and then another officer took on two rounds to his shield, and that stopped that,” Helton said.
Helton used a similar bulletproof vest to show News 2 where the first deputy, who was taken to a Pulaski hospital, was hit.
“I think it was just right in the chest area that the shot hit, and it’s a miracle,” he said.
At least one other deputy returned fire, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI), but the man inside the house was not hit.
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After the shootout, Helton said the deputies backed up and called the Tennessee Highway Patrol (THP) and its tactical unit to assist with the standoff, which ended when the man surrendered to authorities around 8 a.m.
“It brings things in perspective that what this is really about and the dangers behind it, and I praise our guys for the training that they do and the way they handle it,” the sheriff said. “By the grace of God, they are here today, and that’s the most important thing.”
The suspect is reportedly being housed in Maury County amid the TBI’s ongoing investigation into the deputy-involved shooting.