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Fleming standoff resolved peacefully
Liberty County sheriff: Negotiator quickly talked armed man out of house
Fleming standoff
An ambulance is prepared to take a man to Liberty Regional Medical Center after he barricaded himself in a home off Fleming Loop Road for about an hour Friday afternoon. - photo by Photo by Lewis Levine

A man who had barricaded himself in a residence off Fleming Loop Road was taken to a hospital, according to the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office.

Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes said the man’s sister called 911 shortly after noon Friday, indicating that her brother “was either suicidal or was going to harm someone.”

About an hour later, Sikes said, the man, whom the sheriff described as “distraught, just very distraught,” was taken to Liberty Regional Medical Center for evaluation.

“I think he’s been in the house for a good while without coming out,” Sikes said. “Family members who’d bring him food and talk to him saw a downhill spiral and just escalated into this today, but now he’s going to get the help he needs.”

No one else was inside the house when the man refused to come out, Sikes said. The sheriff added that the man was armed, but declined to say whether a shot was fired, citing the ongoing investigation.

Sikes credited a hostage negotiator with the Special Response Team for bringing what could have been a deadly situation to a peaceful resolution.

“There was a lot of other citizens in the area where the threats were made,” the sheriff said. “We knew the guy was armed. We had to secure the perimeter to make sure that the other civilians were safe. Thank God we have a trained negotiator — just got back from school and did an excellent job and was able to talk this guy out of the house.”

Neighborhood watch coordinator Sheila McGinley said she was surprised when she heard of a possible standoff.

“I said, ‘In Fleming?’ I had heard there was just one in Hinesville, and I was wondering if it was the same one,” she said. “That’s why I rode over here.”

But she said seeing that Sikes and the deputies were at the scene put her mind at ease.

She described the incident as out of character for Fleming.

“Everybody knows everybody, and everybody communicates with everybody,” she said, describing the close-knit rural community. “It’s kind of family-oriented, and if you’re not family, you’re friends.”

The man was not arrested, and Sikes wished him well.

“Hope we can get him proper treatment — he’s a good guy,” Sikes said. “No one was injured, thank God. We all prayed.”

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