Suspect was shot by Walton County Sheriff’s Deputy after he too was charged by the suspect
WALTON COUNTY, GA -When two paramedics with Walton County EMS out on a call came up on what they thought was an accident on Saturday evening, they did what they always do – stopped to render aid. They didn’t know anything about the bizarre events that had led up to the disabled vehicle on the side of the road or that the driver had reportedly killed both his parents.
“They thought the vehicle had either been in a wreck or had broken down – so they stopped,” said Walton County EMS Assistant Director Jody Carter. “When they looked inside the vehicle, they didn’t see anybody but there was a citizen standing outside and he warned them that the vehicle had just been hitting other vehicles and that the driver was outside of it. He was laying on the ground. The citizen, who had his two daughters in the car with him, had notified authorities and followed the driver from Mr. Jeff’s (Marathon gas station) down toward the EZ Stop.”
Carter said the man on the ground then jumped up and charged at his two paramedics, wielding a sledgehammer. They were forced to retreat and radio for help. Carter said at that time the citizen pulled his gun. The Walton County deputies were just up the street at the EZ Stop on Highway 81 where they had been called out on the suspect hitting vehicles, first at Mr. Jeff’s and then on down to the EZ Stop. A WCSO Deputy responded and ordered the citizen with the gun and the suspect with the sledgehammer to put down their weapons. The man with the gun put his weapon down. The suspect did not.
According to Maj. Scott Whisnant, public information officer with the WCSO, the suspect said “I’ve just killed my mother – shoot me,” before charging at the deputy, still wielding the sledgehammer.
“The deputy fires one shot, and then takes him into custody. EMS of course is right there, they immediately begin treatment and then take him to the hospital,” Whisnant said.
Carter said by that time there also were two Walton County firemen on hand. The two EMS paramedics immediately began lifesaving measures, which they continued as they transported the suspect to Northside Hospital in Gwinnett. He subsequently passed away.
Whisnant said it was only after they were able to retrieve the information on the vehicle, which later was found to belong to the suspect’s father, that the enormity of the whole incident was revealed. The suspect at that time did not have any identity on him but the vehicle was registered to an address in Wrightsville in Johnson County.
“Based on his statement that he had killed his mother, we contacted the authorities in Johnson County and requested that they do a welfare check on the residence of the vehicle registration. When the Wrightsville Police got there, they said they did in fact have a crime scene, which appeared to be a homicide, but that the victim was a male, not a female,” Whisnant said.
Further investigation subsequently revealed the suspect’s identity, William T. Parrott, that the victim in Wrightsville was his father and that he had a mother who lived in the Youth Mobile Home Park in Walton County.
“When we get there we discover that there’s a crime scene there too. They locate Mr. Parrott’s mother, who has also been murdered,” Whisnant said. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to investigate the officer involved shooting and Parrott’s body will be taken to the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsy. Once the investigation is complete, the GBI will hand the information over the the Alcovy Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office.
The incident shut down Highway 81 for several hours and had an impact on many people, not the least of which was the deputy who was forced to shoot the suspect, the first responders who were first charged by the suspect and then performed lifesaving measures before he passed away, as well as all the law enforcement and first responders who worked the scene on the side of Highway 81 as well as the two murders. By all accounts, the two murder scenes were horrific. It is believed that the sledgehammer was used in the murders of Parrott’s parents.
A bill at the Georgia Capitol this legislative session that was attempting to obtain more funding for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder for first responders failed just this week when it did not make it out of committee.
H.B. 855, which was introduced in January, would have provided funding through workers compensation benefits for first responders who experience psychologically traumatic events on the job and are subsequently diagnosed with PTSD by a mental health professional.
A Senate version, S.B. 484, was introduced in February and sent to committee but it looks like, at least for this legislative session, that additional help will not be coming for law enforcement and first responders who often deal with trauma while doing their jobs.