COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - It was a close call in Coweta County over the weekend. Investigators said a man on drugs became paranoid and thought that people were trying to shoot at him. That was not actually happening, but the man began ramming his truck into cars and shooting at businesses.
The businesses have not had a chance to replace their store front windows, but the owners said the blessing in all of this is they were not open when the shooting happened.
Even though the store front windows are not fixed yet, it was business as usual for shops at White Oak Center on Tuesday. This was not the case Saturday morning. Heea Barber was at home asleep when she got the call from deputies.
“They told me my shop was shot, so I just rush in,” said Barber.
According to investigators, Dustin Johnson, who they said was on cocaine and Xanax, thought people were shooting at him in the parking lot. Deputies said he began ramming parked cars with his pickup truck, but that is not all.
“When we arrived, we just saw this chaos and bedlam. He’d actually backed into the store front with his truck and taken out a whole store front, at one point got out of his truck and started firing rounds,” said Investigator Mark Callahan.
Callahan said there were a handful of people in the parking lot. Johnson then took off, but not before investigators said he ran another woman off the road. All of this happening in a matter of minutes, but when deputies pulled him off, Johnson was glad to see them.
“When we got there and we’re talking to him, he differentiated that easily, that we were on his side, we were the good guys, but he was only shooting at the bad guys. It was that kind of paranoia, or alternative universe is the better way to describe it, he was living in for a few moments,” said Callahan.
Investigator Callahan said Johnson does not have a criminal record and this is a testament of what drugs can do. For the store owner, she forgives him.
“He needs to get help, I’m not mad,” said Barber.
Johnson is facing a number of charges from aggravated assault, possession, and criminal trespass among others.
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