Garrett mug


Police have arrested the allegedly suicidal suspect who opened fire on two officers in a standoff shortly before Christmas.

Jack Garrett III, 35, of Sylva, was arrested for two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, four misdemeanor counts of resisting a government official and one misdemeanor count of injury to personal property.

On Dec. 22 at 2:41 p.m., police were called to a home on Bradford Lane by a person asking for a welfare check.

“The caller told a telecommunicator that Garrett had taken a large amount of pain pills in an attempt to harm himself,” Police Chief Chris Hatton said, shortly after the incident.

Sgts. Zack Stiles and Jamie Hyatt arrived on scene and determined that a person, later identified as Garrett, was inside the home. Garrett allegedly refused to answer the door. Shortly thereafter, he answered the door, but was uncooperative.

“He yelled at the officers and closed the door on them,” Hatton said. “He left the area where officers could see him.”

The officers continued their attempts to communicate with Garrett.

As they talked, a shot rang out from inside the residence. The projectile came through a window on the front of the home and struck a police cruiser.

Officers initially believed Garrett fired the shot from a small caliber weapon. It was later discovered that the shot came from a crossbow and the projectile was an arrow with a mechanical broadhead, or arrow tip, Hatton said.

The website Wide Open Spaces describes mechanical broadheads as having arrow blades that are retracted during flight and open when they pierce the target.

Stiles and Hyatt retreated to the garage where they were pinned down until backup from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrived.

As officers began to establish a perimeter, Garrett allegedly came out of the house with something around his neck.

“As Garrett walked towards officers in the front yard, he gripped the item around his neck and began to steadily pull it away from his body,” Hatton said. “At that time, officers realized it was an adjustable bicycle cable with a lock. Garrett was attempting to tighten it around his neck, in a suicide attempt.”

In a bid to save Garrett’s life, officers used a TASER. They were too late. Garrett had tightened the cable enough that he was already suffocating and turning blue. Desperate to save the life of the man whom they believed just tried to kill them, the officers made several attempts to remove the cable. They eventually requested bolt cutters be brought in. A medical first responder found a key for the bicycle lock in the home, and officers were able to remove the cable.

The standoff was over by 3:30 p.m.

Garrett was taken to Harris Regional Hospital and later transported to Mission Hospital in Asheville for evaluation and treatment. 

Garrett was arrested on Jan. 10 upon his release from the hospital.

He is being held in the Jackson County Detention Center under a $30,000 secured bond.