Armed Bystander Protects Sheriff's Deputy

Sheriff Patrol Car

No one in this country argues about armed police officers. Disarming law enforcement isn’t even part of the discussion here, and for good reason. The idea is ridiculous.


However, there are a lot of people who would prefer that police officers were the only ones armed legally, and that actually does include a handful of police officers.

A Dawson County, GA sheriff’s deputy isn’t likely part of that number after what happened to him.

A chaotic scene in Dawson County Tuesday afternoon where what started out a good deed ended in gunfire and injuries.

It started at a Chevron on Georgia Highway 400 when 52-year-old Sgt. Randy Harkness arrived with a homeless man. Sheriff Jeff Johnson said the Harkness had given the man a courtesy ride to the gas station to help him out with a bit of money.

“He then began to give the gentleman some money just to help him out and the suspect began to physically assault him,” said Sheriff Johnson.

The sheriff said a woman in a car at the Chevron witnessed the assault, got out of her car, gun in hand, and fired on the homeless man attacking Harkness. Eyewitnesses in the gas station saw it unfold.

“She shot off, a round. The guy got off the police officer and she shot another round and he was running that way I think, there was three shots,” said Aseem Kahn, owner of the station.

The sheriff’s office told FOX 5 News, the man, who’d been hit by at least one slug, ran across the street to this McDonald’s where he attacked an elderly woman in the parking lot.

The heroic bystander declined to speak publicly about her actions, but Sheriff Johnson said, “I truly believe she’s a hero. I believe she thankfully saved this officer’s life.”


I’m inclined to agree.

The vast majority of armed citizens may be carrying primarily to protect themselves and their family but would feel no remorse about stepping in to protect a total stranger, especially in a case like this one.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Dawson County District Attorney’s Office are investigating whether or not to file charges against the good Samaritan, as well as other things, but since Georgia is Stand Your Ground state, so I’d be very surprised to see her face any legal ramifications. After all, it seems as though had she not intervened, Sgt. Harkness might have been seriously injured.

I suspect this will be over and done with pretty quickly and the woman be permitted to move on.

However, there’s a lesson in this that doesn’t necessarily include “no good deed goes unpunished.” The lesson is that even the police may need help, and armed citizens can and do save lives.

Had this woman failed to act, would we be reporting the murder of a deputy? We don’t know, but thanks to her, we didn’t find out the hard way. Thanks to her, we know for a fact Sgt. Harkness will be quite alright. That’s a win in my book.

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