FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — A Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office deputy was shot about 6 p.m. July 16 while investigating a domestic disturbance.
Deputy First Class Jon Beival, a six year veteran with the office, was treated and released from the hospital the same night.
Deputies responded to a domestic dispute at a house on Akins Way in the Hickory Hills subdivision in North Forsyth.
After arriving, deputies were attempting to get Elias Alexander Quintero, 35 of Cumming, to come outside to speak with them when they “came under significant gunfire” from a high powered rifle from the residence. Two deputies returned gunfire and have been placed on routine administrative leave with pay.
During the exchange, a male deputy sheriff in his late 50s was shot twice in his legs.
After the deputy was shot, another pulled him to safety and applied a tourniquet to his leg. A lieutenant extricated him and got him to an ambulance, according to Sheriff Ron Freeman.
He was transported to a local hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released.
“Our deputies are very good at what they do,” Freeman said. “I’m blessed to work with them.”
The deputy who was shot was on a loud speaker during the negotiation, Freeman said.
“All we wanted to do was speak with him and get his side of the situation,” Freeman said. “But we were met with gunfire.”
Nearby homes were evacuated during the confrontation. Around 8:20 p.m., the sheriff’s office reported the situation was resolved when the shooter took his own life after negotiations failed.
Deputies never entered the home during the negotiations.
Freeman said he doesn’t believe the shooter’s death was caused by a gunshot from a deputy.
“You never want to see a loss of life,” Freeman said. “First and foremost I’m thankful none of our citizens got hurt. I thank God the deputy will be OK. I wish the suspect hadn’t lost his life, but that was his choice.”
No additional deputies or civilians were injured.
Freeman said more than 100 officers from five agencies assisted the Forsyth deputies, which he called “superheroes.”
“Watching our SWAT team, patrol deputies and deputies from literally every division in the agency arrive, be professionals and be willing to go in harm’s way leaves me in awe,” Freeman said. “I could not be prouder of these incredible heroes I get to work with.”
The Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was deployed, along with the agency Crisis Negotiation Team. Additional assistance came from the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, members of the North Fulton SWAT team, Georgia State Patrol officers and aviation and the Georgia Bureau of Investigations.
Freeman said they don’t know the motive at this time, but believed it was a family dispute.
The GBI is still investigating.
This is the second officer-involved shooting in Forsyth County this year. An earlier incident occurred in January. Freeman said incidents involving gunfire with deputies is rare in Forsyth County.
“Our violent crime rates are incredibly low here,” Freeman said. “But it is an unfortunate situation as we see law enforcement officers faced with this time and time again. In this case, our deputies acted heroically.”