Parrish: ‘Heroic’ deputies, first responders played crucial role in armed standoff

Published 6:31 pm Thursday, April 28, 2022

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That’s how Chief Deputy James Parrish described the efforts of deputies and first responders who rescued a man who set his mobile home on fire after an armed standoff on Tuesday.
“I got to witness it and the deputies were definitely heroes,” Parrish said. “It’s important for folks to understand the professionalism those deputies showed … they showed a lot of restraint and wisdom.”
The incident took place about 9 p.m. in the 800 block of Rittertown Road and began with a report of shots fired in the area.
Carter County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Justin Covington and Lt. Alvin Rhea were the first to arrive on the scene, and found Brian Williams inside a mobile home, where he was armed and refusing to allow anyone to enter.
“Within the next 15-20 minutes, about 10 other deputies arrived to support them,” Parrish said, adding that both he and Sheriff Dexter Lunceford were present as well.
“The deputies managed to stay in verbal contact with (Williams),” even as he fired shots through the floor of his mobile home.
“We believe he was trying to cause some type of suicide by cop,” Parrish said, adding that the deputies remained restrained and did not respond.
“He was extremely reckless and it was a sad situation,” Parrish said.
That situation escalated when Williams set his mobile home on fire.
“I’ve been doing this for 36 years, and I’ve never seen anybody set their house on fire like that,” Lunceford said.
Deputies as well as first responders with the Carter County Rescue Squad and the Hampton Valley Forge Volunteer Fire Department were able to pull Williams out through a window. He was treated at the scene and transported to an area hospital.
“We hope he survives,” Lunceford said. “He burned his lungs and is on a ventilator.”
Parrish said the heroic actions of the deputies and first responders made a difference in the outcome of the situation. “I’ve never seen anything like that.”

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