Created: Fri, 01 Nov 2013 04:52:00 EST
Updated: Mon, 04 Nov 2013 09:26:21 EST
Taylor County Sheriff's deputies shot and killed a man Thursday evening after he attacked a deputy with a machete.
The investigation has since been turned over the the GBI who identified the man as Johnny Wayne Howell.
The incident happened around 5 p.m. in the 400 block of West Old Wire Road just outside Butler.
Jack McGlaun, a life-long friend of Howell says Howell had a long history with alcohol and recently seizures and mental instability.
"He helped me out around the house all the time," said McGlaun. "He helped everybody like that."
He says shortly before the shooting, Howell attacked him.
"He didn't even know who I was," said McGlaun. "He chased me around the backyard with that machete, we don't even know where he got it from."
He says he was able to make it inside.
"He started tapping the glass door with the machete," said McGlaun. "I thought he was going to break it."
He described Howell's eyes as being visibly dilated. He says once Howell left his house he headed across the street where he wound up in the yard of a couple new to the area.
The couple who said they didn't want their name release says they thought it was a Halloween prank.
"He had a machete in one hand and a pipe or something in the other," the neighbor said. "He was hitting the back of my truck."
At that point McGlaun jump in his truck and drove across the street. He and another friend were attempting to calm Howell down. Skid marks can be seen in the neighbors yard from McGlaun's truck.
Shortly after, deputies arrived to contain Howell. Howell was tased by one deputy but it didn't affect him.
"You could hear the deputies call him by name," said the neighbor.
Howell swung the machete at the deputy.
"I thought he cut his arm off," said McGlaun.
The deputy fell and Howell was standing over the fallen deputy with the machete raised when the other officers fired.
"It all just happened so fast," said McGlaun. "I was in shock, it was something you never want to see."
Howell died on the scene. The Taylor County Sheriff's Office immediately handed the investigation over to the GBI.
McGlaun said the officers had no choice. He says there are a lot of elderly women who live in the area and Howell was going to serious hurt someone.
McGlaun says Howell was taken to the hospital earlier Thursday after attacking another close friend but refuse treatment and was release.
"That's the story, right there," said McGlaun.
The officer Howell struck with the machete is fine, McGlaun says he suffered minor bruises. There'e no word on whether the officers involved are still on the job.