On Wednesday, July 8, in a ceremony attended by family, friends and Sheriff’s Office personnel, Sheriff Mark Hunter awarded Lieutenant Chris Sharpe and Corporal Matthew Baucom the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Commendation Medal for their actions on June 24, 2020.
On that day, Lt. Sharpe and Cpl. Baucom responded to a call of an armed and barricaded subject.
Earlier, the subject who was in the early stages of Alzheimer’s was being treated by emergency medical personnel, when he became combative and the EMS personnel called for help.
The man armed himself forcing a standoff. Arriving deputies set up a perimeter around the house while Lt. Sharpe and Cpl. Baucom attempted to talk the subject down. The subject refused to come out and Lt. Sharpe and Cpl. Baucom tactically entered the home to continue talking with the subject and assess his condition. The subject displayed a rifle and made aggressive movements toward the deputies. As Lt Sharpe and Cpl. Baucom continued to talk with the subject, Cpl. Baucom was able to disarm him as Lt. Sharpe safely took control of the suspect.
Due to the subject’s medical condition no criminal charges were levied against him and he was taken to a medical facility.
“The decisive actions of these two deputies turned a potential lethal force situation into a safe and successful encounter” Sheriff Mark Hunter said, “I’m proud of them and for all that were involved in this dangerous situation. Training coupled with genuine concern helped guide these men as they made a life or death decision.”