Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson, left and Dawson County Emergency Services Director Danny Thompson field questions from the media about a homicide at Fire Station 7 July 29.
Woman killed in shooting in front of Dawson County firehouse
BY DENISE RAY
Jeremy Wade Gibson went before Dawson County Magistrate Court Judge Lisa Thurmond Wednesday, July 31 and heard the five felony charges against him in the homicide of Amy Alexandria Gibson, his estranged wife.
Gibson is charged with two counts of murder, one count of cruelty to children in the first degree, one count aggravated assault/family violence and one count of possession of a firearm/knife during the commission of a crime. Bail, if allowed, would be set by a Superior Court Judge. Gibson’s next court appearance is scheduled for August 14 at 9:00 a.m. in the Dawson County Government Building.
Amy “Alex” Gibson was fleeing from her allegedly abusive husband when he fatally shot her in front of Dawson County Fire Station 7 the night of July 29.
Dawson County Sheriff Jeff Johnson told reporters at a July 30 press conference that at approximately 7:36 p.m. Monday July 29, Dawson County 911 Operators received a “frantic” call from a woman later identified as Amy Alexandria Gibson, 44, requesting assistance. As 911 Operators attempted to get a location of the caller, “the phone went blank.”
“Shortly thereafter, two cars pulled into the parking lot of Fire Station 7,” Johnson said. “The suspect got out of the vehicle in the rear, approached the vehicle in front of him and attempted to gain entry through the door, could not gain entry through the door and began to fire into the vehicle.”
Jeremy Wade Gibson, 44, of Dawsonville fired “several” shots, striking the victim and killing her Johnson said. Once Gibson stopped shooting, he laid his weapon on the ground and surrendered to firefighters on duty at the station where he remained until deputies arrived and took him into custody.
Johnson confirmed that the two Dawson County residents were husband and wife and that the Sheriff’s Office had a “lengthy” domestic violence-related history.
“It’s clearly a domestic related event,” Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh said. “There’s not a question about that. There was some domestic history between the two, but to go into any further detail about that would not be appropriate presently.”
The couple was estranged at the time of the shooting. Also, in the backseat of the car at the time of the shooting were two young children later determined to belong to the couple. They were unhurt, Johnson said.
Dawson County Fire Chief Danny Thompson stated that the family of a firefighter—spouse, two young children and mother-in-law—was present at the time of the incident.
“One of our personnel did observe the shooting,” Thompson said to reporters. “The incident evolved so quickly and rapidly that the personnel wasn’t able to really take any measures to stop the threat once it occurred.”
Thompson was asked if he believed the firefighters were in any danger at the time of the incident. “I believe they were in immediate danger,” he said. “This was a very dangerous situation. Firefighters across this county are unarmed.” Firefighters are always there to protect lives and save lives, he said.
“In a matter of seconds, it was their lives they were looking after, their families’ lives,” Thompson explained. “They took the necessary actions and precautions to do exactly that.”
The Gibson children, ages 8 and 5, were placed in the custody of the Department of Children Services (DFCS) and taken to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for medical evaluation.
GBI is assisting with the investigation of the matter.
Dawson County District Attorney Lee Darragh said that “all the appropriate charges are under consideration.” The list of charges against Gibson will include a murder charge and related charges to that, and will likely include firearm charges and charges related to cruelty to children because of the witnessing of this event by the children, according to Darragh, but nothing exact has been determined yet. Darragh’s office was not aware of any criminal record for Gibson.
“The two children involved here and the family and loved ones of the victim remain in our prayers and thoughts,” Johnson said. “It’s a sad and tragic situation.”
Jeremy Wade Gibson shown here in his booking photo surrendered to firefighters at Dawson County Fire Station 7 after shooting his estranged wife in front of their two young children. PHOTO COURTESY OF DAWSON COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE