Putnam deputy shot, wounded near Lake Sinclair

Donovan Ray Dann
Donovan Ray Dann

A Putnam County sheriff's deputy survived a shotgun blast fired Wednesday night by a man during a domestic dispute, officials there said.

Deputy Barak Wood's injuries were not life-threatening, Putnam Sheriff Howard Sills said.

"A couple of shotgun pellets hit him, apparently birdshot," the sheriff said of wounds to Wood's hand and eye.

Wood was en route to an Athens hospital for treatment late Wednesday, Sills said. "He's gonna be fine."

The shooting happened about 8 p.m. just north of Lake Sinclair.

Authorities got word shortly before that of a disturbance at 943 Crooked Creek Road, a few miles east of U.S. 441, that involved a man and the girlfriend who was babysitting for him.

A woman whose daughter was babysitting a 2-year-old child there phoned 911 and said her daughter had called and told her the man she was babysitting for was refusing to let her leave, Sills said.

The sheriff said that before the line went dead on the daughter's call, the mother heard the daughter say, "Don't do that."

Wood and another deputy, Thaddeus Dennis, were sent to the house.

Details of how the shooting happened were not immediately known, but Sills said a man at the house, Donovan Ray Dann, 23, opened fire on Wood soon after the deputy arrived.

Wood, a former Marine who has been on the force about a year, returned fire but missed Dann, the sheriff said. Dann then ran into some nearby woods.

No one else was hurt.

Law enforcement officers converged on the area, including some from neighboring Baldwin County.

Upon hearing about the shooting, Sills, who was in North Carolina, sent a text message to the alleged gunman. The sheriff also left him a voicemail message.

"Just telling him to give himself up," Sills said. "He's got a history with us going back a number of years."

Dann later emerged from the woods unarmed and surrendered to Putnam Deputy Tony Frazier and Baldwin Sheriff Bill Massee.

"We don't know where the shotgun is at the moment," Sills said.

Dann was jailed, charged with aggravated assault on a peace officer.

Early Thursday, Sills said by email that authorities planned to tack on other charges, including aggravated assault and cruelty to children "in regards to the incident that occurred prior to Deputy Wood's arrival on the scene wherein Dann had battered and assaulted his girlfriend/babysitter."