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Towne Lake Man Dies After Cherokee SWAT Standoff

A man involved in a SWAT standoff in Towne Lake Hills West died from what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

What started out as a SWAT standoff has ended tragically in an upscale Towne Lake neighborhood. 

A man who barricaded himself inside a home at 351 Iron Hill Trace was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Cherokee Sheriff's Office's Lt. Jamie Gianfala said Sunday evening.  

Cherokee sheriff's deputies were called to a home in Towne Lake Hills West off Towne Lake Parkway around 2:30 p.m. Sunday from the female homeowner requesting domestic standby so she can go inside the home and retrieve some of her belongings. 

Lt. Jamie Gianfala, acting spokesperson for the sheriff's office, said the woman, not wanting to escalate the situation, asked the deputy to wait outside the home while she went inside.

The woman quickly returned and told the deputy the man inside had a weapon.

Gianfala said Cherokee County SWAT Team and negotiators arrived on the scene and attempts to make contact with the man through the telephone and a P.A. system were "unsuccessful."

Gianfala said the SWAT Team, which included members of the Woodstock Police Department, sent a robot inside the house shortly before 6 p.m. and were able to discover the man was deceased.

"Investigators were able to view the male inside the home via (a) camera on the robot," Gianfala wrote in a press release. "The male was seated on the couch with what appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

First responders and SWAT officials then went inside to confirm the man was deceased. 

Gianfala said the man and woman were both married, but added it's unclear what caused the situation to escalate.

"It’s very early into the investigation," he added. 

The Cherokee Sheriff's Office blocked entrance onto Iron Hill Trace through the duration of the crisis and Georgia State Patrol was called to the scene to secure the perimeter until after 6 p.m. 

Kerry Walker February 18, 2013 at 08:54 PM
What was the man's name and age who killed himself?
electric123 February 19, 2013 at 03:48 AM
Does it really matter?
bill smith February 20, 2013 at 12:52 PM
Makes no sense. She went back in? She didnt want it to escalate, but went in for belongings? Great reporting.
Kristal Dixon (Editor) February 20, 2013 at 12:56 PM
Yes, it is great reporting. She didn't want to escalate thing so she asked the deputy to wait outside. She thought bringing a deputy in the house would set things off. Understand?
Jen February 20, 2013 at 02:05 PM
Bill u just assume leave your things? THAT makes no sense. She did the correct thing to try to not escalate things.... Get a deputy to sit outside its the man that killed himself fault. There was no reason to kill yourself because someone was trying to leave you and get their things. Mentally unstable is what he was. Good call on the woman to bring the deputy.. That could have been her if not. Great reporting.
Jody Pharr February 20, 2013 at 02:09 PM
Did the officer see the man before she went back in?
Geronimo February 21, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Did anyone hear the gunshot?
Mary K March 20, 2013 at 04:55 PM
This department needs better training. There are too many lives lost. They need to partake in CIT Training. It stands for Crisis Intervention Training. Please sound off to the Sheriffs Department, and let them know you support this type of training to SAVE lives. Back in May, a 16 year old boy was killed by this department.
crrazytimes April 18, 2013 at 02:16 PM
mary you arent kidding. seems its more of a shoot if you opportunity arises kinda training
youngmom April 18, 2013 at 05:41 PM
i like living in a community where it is widely known that if a person starts waving a gun around and pointing it at others there is a good chance that they are going to end up getting shot themselves. what a great deterrent! i'm sure the chicago area, aka murder capital usa, offers all kinds of special training for the cops to be more sensitive to criminals and their needs. move there.
People are Crazy April 19, 2013 at 03:29 AM
If you are trying to get away from someone unstable, your things are in the house with this unstable person, would you go back in alone to get your wallet and keys, or call an officer and ask that he just stand by outside in case something happened? Because you don't want to further upset the unstable person when you went to get your things you ask the officer not to walk in with you. I don't understand what you don't understand. What was wrong with the reporting?
People are Crazy April 19, 2013 at 03:43 AM
The S.O. is a public office. Call and see if their crisis intervention team has been trained. I'm sure they have. The best psychiatrists in the world can't stop some people from wanting to die. It doesn't seem fair to blame our very hard working law enforcement officers for this man's mental health issues and death (or the young gentleman last year). They can only do so much with someone mentally unstable recklessly waving a gun around.

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