Hall County Deputies Fatally Shoot Murder Suspect John Pearce

One woman dead, another serious injury in incident at Harbour Point

HALL COUNTY, Ga. -- A man believed to be involved in a double stabbing was killed by Hall County sheriff’s deputies Monday night.

Around 8:30 p.m., deputies were called to a Gainesville home in a lakeside community on Sunset Point Drive. The 911 caller said one victim had critical injuries, and another might be dead, Sheriff’s Office Col. Jeff Strickland said.

Upon arrival, two deputies were met by a bloody, “highly agitated” John Pearce, 29, in the street, Strickland said. He said Pearce charged deputies and was shot and killed.

Deputies found Pearce's aunt with stab wounds at a neighbor’s house. Strickland said she fled there to escapen. She was airlifted to an Atlanta hospital with critical injuries. The man's mother was found dead in another neighboring home. Strickland said she had multiple stab wounds and gunshot wounds.

Police later revealed to Channel 2's Erica Byfield that Pearce fired at least 20 shots inside the home, and attempted to start it on fire.

Neighbor Carol Baker told Byfield she and her husband ran to the door when they heard gun shots.

"This gentleman was completely naked he was lunging, like he lunged towards the cops," Baker said. "This is very surreal. Its not something that happens in our neighborhood."

Both deputies were placed on administrative leave while the Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation probe the shooting.

By WSBTV 07/12/2011 07:53:00

Subscribe to comments feed Comments(5 posted)

sarah lewellen kinsey 07/14/2011 14:48:57
It was aweful! My parents are residents of the subdivision where this took place & before Mr.Pearce was captured I was higHly alarmed & terrified 4 their safety (my 10yr. old nephew & brother were @ their home also). Stuff like this doesn't happen there; I pray not again. My prayers r w/ the Pearce family. Gretchen spoke 2 us this past Halloween & was a kind & easy spirited women. I pray her terror was short lived & she's in no anguish now. Mrs. Mary Pearce is in my nightly prayers & I know this will forever B on our minds but I hope she can get past this; 4 God has given her a 2nd chance. Not many get that. Mrs.Mary, U R NOT A VICTIM BUT A STRONG (WOMEN) SURVIVOR that has a purpose & will 2 live. Pearce family & friends my prayers & thaughts R with u in this horrible time. Sarah Lewellen Kinsey of Gainesville, GA.
Pat 07/14/2011 17:15:42
I was friends with John since high school, we hung out almost everyday for 4+ years straight. He never showed any signs that would lead one to believe that this could ever take place, he was always a very kind hearted, light spirited person. I really am saddened by this whole story, I knew his mother as and she as sweet of a women you would ever meet. This is all just very bizarre.

R.I.P. Mary & John Pearce
old friend 07/15/2011 21:06:39
Pat is right. I knew John all throughout highschool and it is really upsetting to me to hear him being called a deranged perpetrator. I cannot believe this has happend . John loved his mother and was a great person. From my knowledge he was in a horrible accident a few monthes ago that left him in the hospital with no memory. This is not an action of the John I knew. My prayers go out to his family. This is a horrible tragedy.
Peace 07/15/2011 23:35:58
I did not write the information below. It was on several other comment boards on. I wanted to make sure that those who knew this family saw this. I was at their funeral this morning. This is trajic, especially for those that know the family. Here is the message:***
As a life long friend of the Pearce family, involved in Monday's Harbour Point shooting, I would like you to know the events that led up to this horrible tragedy:

John Pearce had suffered a recent traumatic brain injury that bruised the area of his brain responsible for emotion control, impulsiveness and sleep. He'd been under the care of a Neurologist since the injury. He had been suffering debilitating headaches, would go extremely long periods of time without sleep, and underwent some personality changes. Issues with rage and violence and temporary psychosis are not uncommon to those who suffer this sort of injury-- the correlation is a well known medical fact.

John was a kind, gentle soul that was loved by all who knew him. Not only did he have a heart of gold, but he was smart, successful, and adored his family. He earned a degree in Finance and had become a skilled businessman and investor. He was not just a 29 year old "living with his mother" ... he moved back home to help his mother care for his dying father for 19 months. He stayed for awhile longer to make sure his mother was alright and had since moved back out from the home. The person that did this was not the John that we all knew and loved-- and it is very important to those that loved him that people know the whole story.

While it's understandable, the fact that people are making the assumption that John was simply a "deranged monster" only compounds the tragedy that he and his mother, Mary, were taken from us so soon.
Peace 07/15/2011 23:59:01
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