Holidays can bring added stress to people living with unpredictable or mentally unstable family members.
When police officers or sheriff’s deputies are called to intervene, they must take precautions and rely on training to keep the situation from ending tragically.
No agency knows that better than Athens Police Department.
On Jan. 2, 2004, an Athens man called 911 from his Horton Street home, then fatally shot both officers who arrived to help. What the officers did not know when they arrived at the home was that Farron Barksdale was waiting inside by a window with an assault rifle.
When officer Tony Mims pulled into the driveway, Barksdale fired 10 rounds killing him. Barksdale then reloaded and shot Sgt. Larry Russell as he opened the door to his police cruiser. He was convicted in 2007 on two counts of capital murder and sentenced to serve life without parole on each count.
Barksdale, 32, died two weeks after his transfer to state prison.