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Agnos man has shootout with phantom attackers

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Deputies from the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, Cherokee Village Police Department and the Sharp County Sheriff's Department were involved in a shootout Sept. 1 in Agnos -- sort of.

Deputy Scott Holloway with the Fulton County Sheriff's Department said 53-year-old Tommy Lynn Douglas fired over a dozen rounds of ammunition at phantom intruders inside his home.

"He thought 13 white guys were trying to beat him up," Holloway said. "So he was shooting at them."

But no one else was inside Douglas' home.

When officers arrived at his house Douglas was sitting in the living room wearing only his underwear and holding a shotgun between his legs, said Holloway.

"They're in there. They're trying to hurt me. Go ahead and get them," a sweaty, grass-covered Douglas told officers, Holloway said.

Douglas, a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam, was having a psychotic episode, Holloway said.

Deputies searched the home, but didn't find anyone.

Douglas fired a .308 caliber rifle, a .30-06 caliber rifle and a .22 caliber handgun during the episode, according to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

Holloway said Douglas was transported from his house to the Fulton County jail.

"He was real cooperative with us," Holloway said. "But he wasn't happy when we took him to the hospital."

Fulton County deputy James Laney took Douglas to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Popular Bluff for a mental evaluation.

Douglas was later transferred to a hospital in St. Louis.

No charges are expected to be filed against Douglas.

"In light of the fact that no one was hurt, I don't think we're going to charge him with anything," Holloway said.

Douglas has previous criminal convictions for theft of property, according to the Fulton County Sheriff's Department.

A neighbor called the Fulton County Sheriff's Department to report that shots were being fired at Douglas' home.

Holloway said he asked the Sharp County Sheriff's Department for assistance because the caller said multiple weapons were being discharged. At the time of the call, Holloway was the only officer on duty in Fulton County.

"I didn't know what was going on out there," Holloway said. "For all I knew there was a gunfight going on."



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