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August 20, 2018

Shooting Suspect Arrested in Macon County After Stand Off

Joseph McCosker was arrested during the early morning hours of August 4 by Macon County Deputies following an incident that began during the evening of August 3rd near Arnold Branch Road and Sugarfork Road. Deputies responded to a domestic situation after a female called 911. McCosker fired an AR15 multiple times in the area of deputies from his front porch and then entered his home. Area was secured and upon his arrival Sheriff Robert Holland requested the assistance of the Cullasaja Fire Department, NC Highway Patrol, EMS, and Jackson County Sheriffs Office. For several hours Sugarfork Road was blocked and movement in both directions from Ellijay Road and Highlands Road were blocked. The JCSO armored vehicle was requested and responded with three officers including Sheriff Chip Hall.

One residence was evacuated as a safety precaution and another residence where an elderly wheelchair bound female resided was “Sheltered In Place” due to the risk of removing her from the home was greater than being secured by officers in another area of her home deemed a “safe zone” by deputies. The female victim who was in the home at the time of the initial shots and original call was taken to a safe location and interviewed.

Numerous attempts were made to communicate by telephone with suspect who was seen by SRT (Special Response Team) who had set up a perimeter walking around inside home but refused to answer our calls.

After several hours of calling and monitoring suspects movements deputies from both Macon and Jackson County Sheriff’s Office including Sheriff Holland utilized the armored “Bearcat” and drove up to within feet of the house and tried to convince suspect to come out by utilizing the Sheriff’s Office Negotiator and the use of the armored vehicles loud speaker system. After those efforts were exhausted Sheriff Holland and his SRT Commander Sgt. Clay Bryson made the decision to utilize the use of tear gas into the home instead of making entry. It was decided that due to the fact multiple gun shots had already been fired by the suspect earlier as deputies arrived and secondly suspect was known to be intoxicated and thirdly because he had already shown the propensity to utilize his weapons. Sgt. Clay Bryson and Detective Josh Stewart exited the armored vehicle and went to the opposite side of the home on foot and shot two projectiles containing “CS Gas” into the bedroom area window of the residence that the suspect was last seen entering. Several minutes went by and negotiator Sgt. Amy Stewart continued calling out for suspect to exit the home. Within a short time the suspect exited the front door with his hands up and surrendered peacefully.

McCosker was placed under arrest and checked out by EMS personnel on scene. He was transported by deputies to Angel Hospital where he was checked and released as medically ok for confinement. Mr. McCosker was then transported to the Macon County Detention Center where he is currently being held on a $1,000,000.00 (one million)

Sheriff Robert Holland states, “I commend the deputies and dispatchers as well as all that responded to this incident. Their professionalism and commitment to our community was shown by each of them during this stressful and very dangerous situation. We also Thank Sheriff Hall and his deputies for coming to assist us. We appreciate the surrounding neighbors patience that may have been inconvenienced as we secured the area and until we were able to deem the Sugarfork and Ellijay communities safe again.”

Charges include:
-First degree Kidnapping
-Assault with Deadly Weapon on Govt. Official
-Discharging Firearm into Occupied Dwelling
-Communicating Threats
-Interfering with 911

Sheriff Holland concludes, “This is one more example in Macon County that clearly demonstrates that alcohol and firearms do not mix. When they do, the result is often tragedy. Thankfully last night’s incident did not end with serious injuries or loss of life.”

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