WINDER - A man accused of child pornography possession shot himself Monday when authorities tried to arrest him at his home in Winder.
Sam Summerville, 60, retreated into his home at 251 Natchez Circle when police and federal agents showed up shortly after 3 p.m. to arrest him for failing to appear in court, according to Special Agent Stephen Emmett, spokesman for the FBI in Atlanta. Before officers could get to Summerville, he shot himself, Emmett said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Summerville was supposed to stand trial in federal court last week for five counts of possessing child pornography, but he never appeared, Emmett said. A bench warrant was issued for his arrest.
A year ago, Summerville was arrested at the Huntcrest Publix off Old Peachtree Road in Lawrenceville, near his former residence in that city. It was unclear how long he been living in the Winder subdivision.
Neighbor Lafae Duggan said Summerville lived with his mother, but she rarely saw either of them. She was outside sweeping when police arrived to make the arrest.
"I heard the police yelling to open the door," Duggan said. "Then I went and grabbed my 3-year-old daughter and went inside. I saw all the guns, there was lots of policemen around the house and I didn't want my daughter to witness any of it."
A mother of two girls, ages 3 and 9, Duggan was unaware that the man down the street had a criminal history.
"They say he had a warrants for child pornography," Duggan said. "I had no idea that we had somebody like that so close. That is a scary thought."
Another neighbor, Sheila Spoto, was equally alarmed at Monday's events.
"That's up the street from us," said Spoto, who is pregnant. "I didn't know anything about that. It's scary."
Summerville's arrest was the result of an investigation by the Safe Child Task Force, an FBI-led coalition of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies that targets pedophiles, child molesters and the producers of child pornography. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation will be assisting the FBI with investigating Monday's shooting, Emmett said.