DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - The two Douglas County deputies stabbed at their sheriff’s office after being attacked by a knife-wielding man Wednesday morning are recovering at home and on administrative leave.
Deputy James Miller and Lt. Charles Mitchell were forced to shoot Justin Oakes, 32, after barricading himself in the station’s men’s room and then attacking the deputies, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
According to the GBI, Oakes entered the lobby of the sheriff's office shortly before 10:30 p.m. Tuesday. The sheriff's office said he was looking for shelter. Later, Oakes went to the public restroom and called 911 multiple times, saying he'd been poisoned, according to the sheriff's office.
Two deputies responded to the 911 calls around 2:15 a.m. Wednesday as Oakes was barricaded in the men's bathroom, located off the main lobby of the building.
The GBI said Oakes was armed with a knife, so one of the deputies used a Taser on him; however, he continued moving in the deputies' direction with the weapon. That's when one of the deputies shot Oakes. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
"My deputy did what he was trained to do but, he still got stabbed twice," said Sheriff Tim Pounds.
The deputy who shot and killed the suspect was stabbed at least twice. The other deputy was also injured during the confrontation, according to the GBI.
"My deputy was very, very upset because when you take a man's life, no one wants to do it, but when you forced to do it you have to do it, you have no alternative. You have to do it," Pounds said standing just a few yards in front of the lobby that still has crime scene tape posted across the restroom doors.
Sheriff Pounds said the shooting was justified after reviewing body camera footage. He said the footage showed Oakes getting back up after being tasered, then slashing both deputies in the legs.
"I looked at the video, slowed it down, looked in frame-by-frame. They done what they had to do and didn't have a choice. They tased him when they saw the knife and he went down and came back up and that's how he got the stabs in," the sheriff said.
The sheriff described Oakes as "mentally unstable."
Both Mitchell and Miller were taken to a local hospital and later released.
FOX 5 was the first news crew to arrive on the scene early Wednesday morning as authorities placed crime scene tape around the sheriff's office, which is located on Earl D. Lee Boulevard in Douglasville.
According to Sheriff Pounds, the suspect drove himself to the building before coming inside. There are no metal detectors at the door to the lobby, but an armed deputy is on duty at all times behind thick glass.
According to records found on the Georgia Department of Corrections website, Oaks has been incarcerated for aggravated assault, possession of methamphetamine, and various theft charges. He was out on probation at the time of his death.
The GBI was asked to spearhead the investigation.