Dearing community shocked after suspect killed in officer-involved shooting

McDuffie County shooting
This is the scene where a man was shot and killed by law enforcement officers Tuesday night. (WRDW-TV / May 23, 2012)
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News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, May 23, 2012

DEARING, Ga. -- It's the area's fourth officer-involved shooting this year. This time it left a suspect dead and a community wondering what went wrong.

Marie Reeves, who owns Ms. Marie's Cafe in Dearing, says everyone was talking about the same thing at lunch.

"Unfortunately, today they're talking about the incident that happened in Boneville yesterday. It's sad but that's the talk of the town now, unfortunately," Reeves said.

On Tuesday, McDuffie County deputies responded to a home on Boneville Road after reports of domestic violence and a possible hostage situation.

"There were three adult females there and a male subject. The females broke and immediately began to run away. The individual began to fire at them and fired in the direction of the officer," said GBI Special Agent in Charge Mike Ayers.

Officers fired back, even chasing the homeowner Ray Axon Sr. around the home. Then he pulled a second gun -- this time a rifle. That's when one of the deputies shot and killed him.

"Everybody's speculating what happened, what caused it, and all that kind of stuff which nobody really knows. We weren't there so we don't know," Reeves said.

Investigators say Axon and his ex-wife had just divorced and that she was there with two others getting some of her things.

Luckily, no one else was hurt.

"Everyone's fortunate that it wasn't more tragic than it turned out to be. He had made the comment that he intended to kill all the females in the residence and any police officers that responded to the scene," Ayers said.

Family members left flowers and balloons for a man they say was not a bad guy.

"I don't think he was actually intending to hurt anyone. He was always a gentleman to me. He always treated me with respect," Reeves said.

Investigators say domestic violence situations are on of the most dangerous calls they respond to because they are always unpredictable.

"Certainly it is an extremely volatile situation, tempers are flared, people are not rational and sometimes people react without thinking clearly," Ayers said.

Agents say they're still investigating the shooting. They will eventually hand over their findings to the District Attorney's Office.

They say, in all, less than 10 shots were fired from all guns involved.