CUMMING, Ga. - A Forsyth County Sheriff's deputy is recovering after being shot in the line of duty on Sunday.
Authorities expect Deputy Jon Beival to make a full recovery, but the situation could have played out differently.
According to the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office, a little before 3p.m., three deputies responded to a domestic violence call on Akins Way in the Hickory Hills subdivision and a man inside the house started shooting. Deputies returned fire.
Beival, a six year veteran, was shot twice in the leg. As Beival was on the ground, Forsyth County Sheriff Ron Freeman said the rounds kept coming.
"This was not a single one or two shot; this suspect was shooting a high-powered rifle and shot dozens upon dozens of rounds," said Sheriff Freeman.
Deputies were able to pull him to safety and tied a tourniquet around his legs, before rushing him to the hospital.
"I think there's no doubt that they probably saved his life because had he stayed in location he was at, he would have been in line of fire even more," said Sheriff Freeman.
The sheriff said Monday they still do not know why the man opened fire or why he was acting so aggressive, but said it is a miracle his deputies were not killed.
"To take two gunshot wounds from a high powered rifle, and to receive no more damage than he did- we think God was looking out for us," said Sheriff Freeman.
Authorities have identified the shooter as 35-year-old Elias Alexander Quintero.
As SWAT team members from both Forsyth and the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office surrounded the home, Deputy Beival, who speaks five languages, was the one on the PA system trying to talk to Quintero, who was alone in the home.
"He was just trying to tell this individual, ‘Hey, we need to talk to you.’ He was met with sustained gunfire," the sheriff said.
Deputies never got a chance to speak to Quintero. Almost five hours after Deputy Beival was shot, a SWAT team entered the home, finding Quintero dead. Investigators believe the cause of death was suicide.
Deputies said the nearly five-hour standoff proved challenging for both law enforcement and residents. Officials said they had about 60 officers on the scene because of the stifling conditions.
"You have to understand, the SWAT teams in this heat, because of their armor they have to go like 20 minutes at a time. So, that's one reason why we requested Cherokee Sheriff's Office to come out so that we can have fresh SWAT team deputies around this house," Deputy Rainwater explained.
Deputies evacuated many of the homes around the scene to keep neighbors out of harm's way.
"Naturally, when you're dealing with somebody with a rifle, you want to make sure the homes near his house are in clear view of no one else getting shot. So, we have asked neighbors around his house to stay down or leave," said Deputy Rainwater.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will handle the probe into the shooting.
Deputy Beival has since been released from the hospital and is at home continuing his recovery.