MADISON COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Madison County deputies don’t know if a man accused of shooting at headstones is guilty of preparing to hurt someone. They do believe the accused shooter has a mental problem. Investigators found a man with military gear shooting in a cemetery. Investigators say the man first co-operated with law enforcement, but ran away.
"I couldn't figure out what was going on. I was pretty relaxed about it," said Neighbor David Bobenhouse.
Deputies are also not sure. Dispatchers sent them to Indian Creek Cemetery on Plummer Road to investigate a call of shots fired. Once there, deputies saw a man they say was armed and carrying a weapon.
"We don't know exactly what his intentions were, what he had going on or what he was doing. We don't know. The investigation continues," said Sergeant Brian Chaffin of the Madison County Sheriff's Office.
Sgt. Chaffin believes the unidentified man shot at several gravemarkers hitting as many as three. Deputies approached the man, got him to calm down and drop his weapon. The sudden surrender did not last long.
The accused shooter took off in a sports utility vehicle. Deputies followed the SUV and stopped it inside the West Ridge subdivision off Monrovia Road.
"I am so glad he turned in here because I am pretty sure he thought this was a way out. He got stuck," said Veith.
Deputies pulled a long arm rifle, two hand guns, ammunition, a bulletproof vest and military helmet from the SUV the man was driving. The discovery opened Sgt. Chaffin's eyes.
"I mean, that is our equipment. That's what we use to protect ourselves from people who are dangerous to the public. It's what we use to protect the public or the good people in the society," added Sgt. Chaffin.
Investgators sent the accused shooter to the hospital for a mental evaluation. No charges have been filed.