'Deputy's actions justified': Body cam shows shootout between deputy and kidnapper

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Monday, August 12, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

BURKE COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- A deputy in Burke County is being called a hero after being involved in a fatal shootout with a kidnapping suspect.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office commended Deputy Eric Madison for saving the victim's life.

Deputies say Fredrick Hadden kidnapped his ex-wife Saturday and forced her into her car at gunpoint. We received body cam video of the shootout. You'll see this is a case of shoot or be shot.

An outside investigation team found no violation of the law for the Burke County Deputy. Investigators say his actions were justified and now we have the body camera that shows it all.

"No police officer that I have ever met in my entire 20 something plus year career wants to shoot somebody," Chief Deputy Lewis Blanchard said.

But sometimes, Blanchard says a deputy has no choice, and this body camera proves it. Not even a second after opening his door, Madison had to open fire.

"When you pull up into a situation and you are actively being shot at there is no opportunity for anything else other than to return fire to stop the threat," Blanchard said.

Let's rewind to the beginning. The Richmond County Sheriff's Office sent out a BOLO for Hadden after family reported it.

"And in that information it included a description of the vehicle and a bumper sticker that the vehicle had," Blanchard said.

Burke county got a heads up the kidnapper may be headed their way, towards family he had in Keysville.

"Our deputy was out proactively patrolling and passed the vehicle, looked in his rear view mirror and saw the bumper sticker and immediately turned around and started calling for back up," Blanchard said.

You can see from the body cam as Madison follows the car. He says the suspect pulled into a driveway belonging to family. What happens next, happens fast.

"As soon as our Deputy is pulling into the driveway the victim, the young lady, is running from the vehicle as the suspect is shooting at her," Blanchard said.

She was hit twice as she ran to hide behind the patrol car. Then the suspect turned the gun on Madison.

"And then our deputy takes fire, striking his vehicle, as he returns fire striking the subject until the threat is stopped," Blanchard said.

Blanchard says Deputy Madison handled himself the way he was supposed to.

"We're not going to tolerate that type of activity in our county and we will do whatever it takes to stop it."

After back up showed up, deputies treated the female victim for her two gunshot wounds. The victim is stable and still in a hospital recovering.

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