Dawson County, GA – Police are calling a Good Samaritan a hero after she pulled out her gun and shot a man who was attacking a Dawson County deputy sheriff on Tuesday.
“I truly believe she’s a hero I believe she thankfully saved this officer’s life," Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson said.
The owner of the gas station, where Justin Allan Foster attacked Dawson County Sheriff's Sergeant Randy Harkness, said he was grateful for the woman who shot the suspect.
“It could have been worse, mate, thank you for that lady who was carrying,” Aseem Kahn said.
Now the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Dawson County District Attorney’s Office will determine whether woman who fired the shots at the man attacking Sgt. Harkness should face charges.
The incident occurred in the afternoon on Dec. 5 at a Dawsonville Chevron, after Sgt. Harkness gave Foster a courtesy ride to the gas station, according to WSOC.
"He then began to give the gentleman some money just to help him out and the suspect began to physically assault him," Sheriff Johnson told WAGA.
Foster began beating Sgt. Harkness on his face and head with his fists, police said.
A passerby witnessed the assault and stopped her car. She pulled out a gun and shot the man attacking the deputy.
Police said Foster was hit once, but then ran away, across the street to a McDonald's, where he assaulted an elderly woman in the parking lot.
Other customers jumped in and held Foster down until police arrived.
“She shot off, a round. The guy got off the police officer and she shot another round and he was running that way I think, there was three shots,” Kahn said.
Sharon Cheek, a shift manager at the McDonalds', witnessed the assault and said that it looked like Foster was trying to steal the elderly woman's car.
“He told her, looked at her, and told her she was dead, and then punched her square in the nose, 75 years there was no sense," Cheek said.
She said that a customer “punched him [the suspect], then got him on the ground and started beating him he was holding him down ‘til the cops got here."
"They are the heroes because they kept him from injuring anybody else,” Cheek said of the customers who rushed to the elderly victim’s defense.
Sheriff Johnson said he is not sure when or how Sgt. Harkness initiated contact with Foster.
Sgt. Harkness, a 24-year-veteran of the Dawson County Sheriff's Office, was transported to a local hospital with head and face injuries. He has since been released.
The elderly woman who was assaulted was also transported to a local hospital for treatment. Her name was not released, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Foster was taken to the hospital as well. His condition, and the condition of his female victim, were unknown.
The GBI and the district attorney are trying to determine if Foster had some type of object in his hand when he attacked Sgt. Harkness.
Police said the investigation was ongoing. They have not announced what charges Foster faces.