A Walker County deputy claimed he fatally shot a Rossville man in self-defense, in a newly released report.
Deputy John Chandler claimed he shot Mark Parkinson in his Meadowview Drive home on Jan. 1, 2018, at about 3 a.m. because he feared for his safety and that of fellow officers Sgt. Tim Perkins and Deputy Ginger Daffron. The report covers the three law enforcement officers’ individual versions of the events.
The officers had arrived at Parkinson’s residence when Chandler said he spotted a movement behind a window and saw Parkinson point a pistol in the direction of him and Perkins.
Daffron reported that she heard Perkins identify them as from the sheriff’s department when he knocked on the door. Chandler did not report that the officer identified them in his statement in the report.
Chandler alerted his fellow officers by shouting “gun,” ducked and fired three times through a window, killing Parkinson.
Parkinson’s wife and daughter came downstairs to find him lying on the kitchen floor.
Deputies said they found two black pistols in the kitchen after the shooting.
An internal affairs investigation cleared Chandler. A grand jury ruled that he did not use excessive force.
Parkinson’s daughter, Amy, had filed for divorce from her husband, Steven Gass, in September 2017. They disputed custody of their children.
On Jan. 1, 2018, Dorothy Gass, mother of Steven Gass, called 911 to report Amy Gass had threatened to kill her and her children.
In response, Walker County sheriff’s deputies went to the house where Amy Gass and her children lived with her parents.
Parkinson left his bedroom with a gun to check why the dogs were barking outside. When he turned on the kitchen light, Chandler saw a man with a gun.
The GBI later determined the complaint to be bogus and part of the custody battle, finding through phone records that Mrs. Gass had not spoken with her daughter-in-law that morning but had spoken with her son.
Although a judge dismissed a case against Gass, a Walker County grand jury indicted her in October 2018 for making false statements, writings and concealing of facts. She died about a month later.
Parkinson’s widow, Diana, reportedly settled a civil lawsuit with the sheriff’s department for an undisclosed amount.