Georgia deputy credited for de-escalating intense domestic situation, saving lives

Rockdale County Deputy Zachary Hogdin walked into an intense domestic dispute the night of September 12 after a 911 call about shots fired at a home near Conyers.

"They advised me that the suspect was inside the house and fired a shot outside the house and was in the house armed with multiple other guns. The suspect came out holding three large black rifles," Deputy Hogdin told FOX 5's Portia Bruner.

The 20-year-old deputy admitted he'd never been in a situation quite like this one in his two years at with Rockdale County Sheriff Office but said his de-escalation training kicked in quickly.

"I'm just grateful for the resources and the training from my command staff. I can't tell you what was going through my mind, but I can tell you the training made a difference," said Deputy Higdon.

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In the bodycam video, you can see and hear the deputy with his gun drawn giving loud and very direct commands. The woman repeatedly questions the man who called 911 placed the weapons on a nearby car and complied with his commands before Higdon recovered and unloaded the rifles. Rockdale Sheriff Eric Levett applauds the young deputy for using de-escalation training that focuses on the use of communication whenever possible instead of the use of force.

“What I heard was a man saying, let's not turn this into a bad situation. All you have to do is just listen to me and comply with what I'm saying and we'll both come out of this good. That's what I heard and it worked out because she was upset with him yelling at her but she complied and so I have to give her credit for complying," Sheriff Levett told FOX 5's Portia Bruner. "Domestic calls can be really dangerous for law enforcement officers, especially when you're in a situation where shots have already been fired,” said the sheriff.

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