6-hour standoff with former cop ends peacefully

WINDER — A former Statham police officer voluntarily came out of his house on Wednesday night at just after 9 p.m. following a nearly six-hour standoff with authorities.

Michael Pruitt was unarmed when he talked with authorities on his porch after friends had called 911 at about 3:30 p.m. and reported that he made suicidal threats, Barrow County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Matt Guthas said. Guthas said Pruitt is about 43 or 44 years old and left the Statham Police Department late last year, but didn’t know the circumstances of his departure or his current employment situation. Guthas said Pruitt was not currently working in a law enforcement capacity.

Guthas said Pruitt volunteered to seek immediate medical treatment for some of the issues that caused the event.

No one else lives at the house, or was in the house during the incident, Guthas said.

Guthas said Pruitt is not facing any charges, and authorities are more concerned with Pruitt’s mental health.

Barrow County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to the home in the 400 block of Bowman Mill Road after the 911 call center received a call from a friend of Pruitt.

Guthas said officers cordoned off an area around the house, and the road was closed between Ga. Highway 211 and Anchors Way because deputies believed that Pruitt had an assortment of weapons, firearms and possibly booby traps.

“He has spoken with more than one individual that he could harm himself,” Guthas said.

Personnel from the Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation bomb squad were called in for assistance because there was a false report of an explosive device in nearby woods.

“Those things added on to each other caused an abundance of concern,” Guthas said.