Paulding man found dead after SWAT standoff, exchange of gunfire

A SWAT team discovered the man's body after trying for hours to make contact with him inside a home on Buchanan Highway.

Credit: Paulding County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Paulding County Sheriff's Office

A SWAT team discovered the man's body after trying for hours to make contact with him inside a home on Buchanan Highway.

A Paulding County man accused of firing first at his wife and three children and then at sheriff’s deputies was found dead Thursday at the end of a SWAT standoff at his home.

Authorities believe Thomas Brian Buchanan, 41, shot himself in the head after barricading inside the home on Buchanan Highway in Temple, a community in the western part of the county. His body was discovered after a SWAT team tried for hours to make contact with the man and received no response, according to the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office.

Buchanan’s wife was forced to flee the home with her children Thursday night after an argument with her husband became “extremely heated,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ashley Henson said in a news release. The argument continued on the driveway, where Buchanan allegedly fired multiple shots at his family as they ran, Henson said.

She called 911 from a nearby convenience store about 6:30 p.m. after flagging down a passerby on Buchanan Highway.

“When deputies and a trooper with the Georgia State Patrol arrived on the scene, they made their way down a long gravel driveway toward the home,” Henson said. “When they got approximately 50 yards from the home, the male, later identified as Thomas Brian Buchanan, came out of the home and fired one round at deputies and the trooper.”

A short time later, Buchanan fired again toward law enforcement, and they returned fire, he said. Paulding’s SWAT unit was called once the man retreated inside the home.

“After a lengthy negotiations process with no response from Buchanan, the SWAT team searched the residence and ultimately discovered the body of Buchanan in the home,” Henson said.

The Paulding County coroner made a preliminary ruling on his cause of death: a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. While local authorities determined no law enforcement rounds hit the man, his body was taken to the GBI Crime Lab for an autopsy to make an official determination.

The Paulding County agency is asking anyone who may have witnessed the standoff or the initial gunfire to call the criminal investigations tip line at 770-443-3047 or submit a tip via the free Paulding Sheriff mobile app.