GEORGE COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - We now know the identity of the man killed in a standoff in George County over the weekend after deputies responded to a call for shots fired. Donald Lewis Matkins, 49, of George County was shot after deputies said he came at them waving a gun. A neighbor told WLOX the man was not the owner of the house.
Wendell Holder showed us the bullet hole in his mailbox. Holder lives across the street from the on Mt. Pleasant Road in the Barton community. Holder said gun shots woke him up around 3am Sunday.
"It sounded like a high powered rifle. I heard a round, like eight to ten shots. A few minutes later I heard another round," said Holder.
Holder went back to sleep unalarmed because, in the past, he's heard neighbors partying and shooting in the wee hours. But he realized something was wrong around 6am when a George County deputy came to check to see if the family was alright.
According to deputies, after they fired pepper spray into the trailer where the man barricaded himself, he came out with a weapon. That's when deputies said they opened fire, killing the man.
"It sounded like a flare gun," Holder recalled. "Shortly after that, I heard the automatic weapon go off and I heard a deputy shout, 'I got him.'"
For others in the George County community, it's a frightening reminder of the dangers local law enforcement officers face every day.
Sherry Austin said, "They put their lives on the line for all of us and it's scary that they have to deal with some of this stuff that goes on."
"The law is there to keep them in check, and if they're not in check then things like that happen," said Allan Norris. "It's sad, but there are people out there who don't take human life like everybody else does. It's sad that it happened, but I'm glad that the officers are okay. "
Wendell Holder said he and his wife felt lucky to be alive after realizing the man was on Holder's property when firing some of those shots. Holder said not only was his mailbox hit, but deputies also recovered casings in his yard. He said a bullet could have struck his house and killed him or his wife.