Midday Tuesday, March 21, two law enforcement officers with the Pickens County Sheriff’s Office were on scene taking aerial photos at the Talking Rock home where a man opened fire on deputies less than a week prior.
The man, Frank Jerry Millsapps, 65, was shot and killed after he refused to put down his firearm and pointed a gun at deputies, according to a press release from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
On Tuesday, March, 14 at approximately 11:44 p.m., law enforcement responded to a 911 call from a neighbor who reported Millsapps’ home was on fire, and also that there was gunfire coming from the home. The scene turned deadly after Millsapps would not comply with deputies’ commands to turn over his firearm.
The man was armed with a shotgun when the deputies arrived, the GBI release states, and then “deputies gave several commands for Millsapps to put the gun down. Millsapps refused and began walking toward the deputies. He pointed the gun at the deputies, at which time gunfire was exchanged between Millsapps and the deputies. Millsapps was pronounced deceased at the scene. It was also learned that Millsapps had shot at a neighbor prior to deputies arriving at the home.”
The home on Jay Moss Lane is a total loss from the blaze. The entire structure is now gone, with the foundation all that remains. An outbuilding also burned.
According to Pickens Fire Chief Tim Prather, it is suspected that Mr. Millsapps started the fire, “but it is all still under investigation.”
After Prather’s crews were dispatched to the scene they were informed while in route that shots had been fired, and they had to stage in a different area until the area was cleared. When asked if the home was fully involved when they arrived, Prather said the structure was not in direct line of sight from their staging area, but that he could see the glow and “yes, believed it was fully involved.”
“We were mostly supporting law enforcement until things were safe, because it was a hostile environment,” he said.
The fire chief estimated it was approximately one hour before the scene was secured and his crews could attack the fire. At that point the home was beginning to cave in.
The Pickens County Sheriff’s Office asked the GBI to conduct an independent investigation on March 15. No officers were injured during the incident. The GBI will conduct an independent investigation and it will be given to the Appalachian Judicial Circuit District Attorney for review, according to GBI.