Man accused of firing shots, pointing rifle at Paulding deputies ID’d

John Joseph Baxter (Credit: Paulding County Sheriff's Office)

John Joseph Baxter (Credit: Paulding County Sheriff’s Office)

Paulding County authorities have released the identity of the robbery suspect accused of firing a rifle in the direction of deputies Friday afternoon.

Sgt. Ashley Henson said 47-year-old John Joseph Baxter was arrested following the incident — which triggered a brief lockdown at nearby South Paulding County High School — and charged with two counts apiece of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and criminal trespass, as well as single counts of aggravated assault and entering auto.

The incident began when Baxter allegedly tried to steal farm equipment on Winn Road near Douglasville.

“The suspect pointed a rifle at the complainant and then fled,” Henson said in a news release Friday. “Once deputies arrived on scene, the suspect pointed the rifle at the deputies from a distance.”

Several shots were fired into the air, Henson said.

Baxter then dropped the gun and ran into the woods, authorities said. He was later found in an abandoned house and arrested.

No injuries were reported.