Officers get into standoff with man wielding ghost gun

·4 min read

Jul. 21—A Glynn County police officer withstood an armed standoff early Sunday with a man allegedly wielding a homemade gun outside of a residence in the 300 block of Knox Drive, according to a police report.

The tense stalemate ended without injury when the 32-year-old man allegedly surrendered the firearm after the officer demanded compliance numerous times with his service weapon drawn, according to the report.

The suspect had allegedly pointed the gun at police officer Mario Nichols from inside a vehicle in the carport, which prompted Nichols to draw his weapon, the police report said.

"Fear was going through my mind that I was about to get shot or worse case scenario that I would have to use deadly force," Nichols wrote in the report.

Joseph M. Trutt, 32, was arrested and charged with willful obstruction of law enforcement officers by use of threat, aggravated assault and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to Glynn County Detention Center records.

He remained Wednesday in the county jail without bond.

Nichols arrived at the home at 1:29 a.m. Sunday, accompanying a woman who once lived with Trutt and who feared he would harm her, the report said.

After the woman had left Trutt at an earlier date, he allegedly tracked her to an area motel and slashed her vehicle's tires, the report said. The incident was caught on the motel's security cameras, the report said.

The tire slashing and other alleged threats prompted the woman to begin seeking a restraining order through county magistrate court against Trutt, the report said.

The officer planned to ensure the woman's safety while she retrieved her baby's clothing and other items from the home, the report said.

As Nichols approached the carport, he realized Knox was sitting in a car there, the report said.

Nichols said he heard a gun cock, turned and saw Trutt allegedly pointing a gun at him, the report said.

"I heard a sound of a bullet being chambered into a firearm and when I turned around I saw a glimpse of a muzzle pointed at me then saw the muzzle go down," the report said.

Nichols noted he was in uniform, which clearly identified him as a law enforcement officer.

"When I saw that muzzle pointed at me at that time, I was in fear for my life," Nichols said, noting concern for the woman and another man who also were on scene.

Nichols drew his weapon and "instructed Mr. Trutt to put down the gun," the report said.

Trutt allegedly refused the command, demanding the officer take a shining light out of his face, the report said.

Nichols alerted emergency radio dispatchers "that I had an individual at gunpoint" and requested police backup, according to the report.

"I instructed several times for Mr. Trutt to put the gun down," the report said.

Trutt allegedly told officer Nichols he was trespassing, to which "I informed him that I have a legal right to be here and he needs to put the gun down," the report said.

Moments later, Trutt allegedly put the gun in his lap while still sitting inside the vehicle, the report said.

Trutt allegedly refused further cooperation or to show his hands, the report said.

"I told Mr. Trutt that if he does not comply and if he reached for his gun, that I will shoot him," the report said.

Backup officer Ed Hall arrived and ordered Trutt to reach outside the open window and open the vehicle door. Trutt complied, opening the door and giving Hall a clear view of the firearm.

Nichols ordered Trutt to remain still while Hall approached and took possession of the handgun.

Trutt then was apprehended and handcuffed.

The woman was allowed to retrieve her items.

Police said the handgun Trutt allegedly pointed at the officer was a ghost gun, a type of firearm that can be obtained online in pieces and assembled by the purchaser.

Ghost gun "kits" allow anyone to obtain a gun with no serial number and that cannot be traced, according to media sources. The ghost gun kits can be obtained without a background check by those lawfully unable to obtain one.