Shots were fired Monday afternoon between an Athens County man and sheriff's deputies. The incident occurred at a home in the 2900 hundred block of Fisher road, near Harner Road, around 2 p.m.
Athens County Sheriff Patrick Kelly said deputies were serving an arrest warrant for 34-year-old Franklin Green. Green was out on bond from a prior incident involving his family a few months ago. He allegedly bought guns, even though it was against court orders.
Kelly said deputies were going to the home to collect the illegal guns and arrest Green. Kelly said Green suffers from a mental illness.
Kelly said Green came out firing his rifle. "At one point, he was trying to ricochet shots off of the walls to try to hit the deputies," said Kelly.
Bullets damaged three vehicles including two sheriff's vehicles and Green's SUV.
"We were pinned down behind the armored vehicle," said Deputy John Morris.
A canine cruiser also was struck with a round. Neither the canine nor the deputy was injured.
"I didn't know if he'd been hit or not and, uh, so I called his name. And I saw the antennas on my car moving so at least I knew he was alive." Said Morris.
Kelly said deputies did not fire back at Green for fear they would hit other people inside the house. They later learned Green was alone.
Green was barricaded inside the home for more than two hours, until the sheriff was able to negotiate his surrender. Kelly says no one was injured, including the gunman.
Nearby neighbors said an incident like this was highly unusual for that part of the county. Some were watching carefully out of their windows.
"You never know where a bullet is going to end up, so it's kind of concerning," said neighbor Pam Pratt.
The warrant was issued because Green allegedly acquired weapons following a previous domestic violence indictment.
Deputies took Green into custody. He was taken to the hospital Monday night and was expected to be brought to court Tuesday morning.
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