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Armed man who barricaded himself in home is dead

A troubled, legally blind man barricaded himself inside a home at 289 Jones Road in northeast Lamar County Tuesday morning shortly after 11 a.m. Three hours later he was dead. The man displayed weapons at the first Lamar deputies on the scene who backed off and set a perimeter. Sgt. Shannon Williamson of the LCSO who has had hostage negotiation training made contact with the man by phone. At one point, the man brought Williamson some water out onto the porch of the mobile home but also had a weapon in his possession which he would not drop. He then reentered the home. Deputies and troopers armed with assault rifles surrounded the home. A state negotiator from the Capitol Police took over negotiations and later worked in tandem with a Georgia State Patrol negotiator to no avail. The man refused repeated pleas to walk out of the home unarmed. At 1:42 p.m. a state patrol SWAT team with a command center and tactical vehicle arrived. A boom was attached to the front of the tactical unit and SWAT officers climbed in back. The vehicle approached the front door and an officer inside demanded over a loudspeaker the man come out onto the front porch unarmed. When he refused, four tear gas rounds were fired through windows in the front of the home by an officer in the vehicle’s gun turret. Still the man did not emerge. Two more gas rounds were fired through a window in the back of the home with no results. The boom on the vehicle was then used to penetrate the rear of the home and SWAT officers very cautiously placed a robotic vehicle with mounted cameras inside. Due to the gas, visibility on the cameras was of little help. The heavily armed SWAT team again approached the breach in the home and entered. Soon thereafter, the man’s body was found, removed and checked by EMTs. Officers then began stowing weapons, removing heavy body armor and hydrating. Officers fired no rounds other than the tear gas. The man, who had threatened suicide, apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. The same man shot his brother then himself at an incident at the same home in 2001, according to Sheriff Brad White. The brother died some three years later and the shooter was left legally blind. Sheriff White said deputies have been to the home for other incidents over the years. UPDATE: At 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sheriff Brad White identified the dead man as Brent Hawkins, 50. He confirmed that Hawkins died of a self inflicted gunshot wound.

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