Acworth mother takes shelter with baby after neighbor fires gun at family’s house

Written by: K. Bishop

Published February 13, 2023 @ 4:51 PM ET

Bartow County (January 20, 2023) – An Acworth family called 911 after a bullet shattered their front window and went through their house, lodging in a bedroom wall. The mother raced to the back of the house carrying her baby and dropped to the floor, hiding. A neighbor was later arrested for the shooting.

According to reports, Samuel Nelson Sands, who lives directly across the street from the family, fired a Sig Sauer P320 several times into a tree outside his home. Sands fired the pistol in the direction of the road and the family’s home, where an infant child was inside.

The victims told police they had just finished dinner when they heard shots fired outside before glass shattered in the next room. The father ordered his partner to take the baby and hide. While she carried the child to the back of the home for safety, the father ran to the front porch and screamed for the neighbors to stop shooting.

Investigators retrieved footage from a camera in the window that was also shot. Three shots can be heard in the footage, followed by glass shattering when another struck the window and entered the home. The family’s screams were also recorded.

When police first interviewed Sands, he denied firing shots, and his wife claimed she was sick and had not been outside. She said she heard shots but was unsure where they were fired. Sands told officers he suspected another neighbor of the shooting. However, neighbors told police Sands was frequently outside shooting.

The shot was reportedly fired from across the street, at Sands’ residence, which sits lower than the victims’ home. An investigator with the sheriff’s office found that the round that entered the house came at an upward trajectory, going through a curtain and a hat on top of a dresser before it struck the wall. The father removed a section of the wall to retrieve the round.

Sands took responsibility for the shooting when he was interviewed a second time. He admitted to shooting at the tree while facing the street and the victims’ house. He was arrested and charged with reckless conduct and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was booked into the Bartow County Jail. Sands was released on a $3,500 bond. His court date is pending.

Officer’s Narrative:
[Please note: The following is a direct transcription from the official initial incident report. The Georgia Gazette does not fix any spelling or grammatical errors that may exist. Any changes or redactions made by our staff are placed inside brackets. Some errors may exist. All subjects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The topics discussed may be sensitive to some readers. Discretion is advised.]

On Friday, January 20, [2023], I was dispatched to [20 BLOCK] Valley View Trail in reference to shots fired call.

Upon arrival, [VICTIM #1] stated they were sitting in the living room and had just finished eating dinner. She said they then heard three to four gunshots and glass breaking. She said that she jumped up, grabbed the baby [REDACTED BY AGENCY], ran to the back of the house, and layed down.

She said she ran out to the front porch with [VICTIM #2] and was screaming across the street where the neighbors were shooting, telling them to stop. She said that they checked the room directly behind where they were sitting, and there was a bullet hole through the bottom of the window and stopped across the room, hitting a hat on the dresser, knocking it off, lodging into the wall.

[VICTIM #2] stated they had just finished dinner when they heard several gunshots and glass breaking in the bedroom behind him. He said that he told [VICTIM #1] to grab the baby, go to the back of the house, and hide. He said he ran outside and started screaming across the street where they were shooting, telling them to stop. He said he then checked the bedroom, and the bullet had gone through the window into a hat knocking it off the dresser and lodging into the wall.

I observed a hole in the bottom left side of the front window facing the road. The bullet then went through the curtain that was hanging from the window and traveled in a slightly upward path showing that the bullet come from a lower elevation hitting a hat placed on the dresser knocking it to the floor, and stopping in the wall across from the window.

From the path the bullet traveled, it appeared it come from the house directly across the street, which sat lower in elevation than the window. I also observed there was a video camera in the window that was shot. I observed in the video what sounded like three shots and a loud noise sounding like a window breaking. Shortly after the shots, I could hear [VICTIM #1] and [VICTIM #2] screaming outside, telling someone to stop shooting.

I made contact with Samuel Sands, who lived across the street.

Samuel initially stated that he was not outside shooting guns and that he was inside with his wife ([WITNESS #1]). He said that he heard gunshots and believed it to be another neighbor.

[WITNESS #1] stated that she had been sick and was not outside shooting. She said she heard the gunshot but wasn’t familiar with where they came from.

I contacted the neighbor ([WITNESS #2]), who stated he had just got home from work and had not been shooting. He said that his neighbor (Samuel) is usually outside shooting.

I contacted Investigator K. Sinclair, and she arrived on the scene.

The bullet trajectory appeared to have come from Samuel’s house directly across the street.

We contacted Samuel again, and he admitted to firing a pistol several times. He stated he was standing in front of his house and fired several shots into a tree, and he said he was facing the road when firing the pistol.

Samuel turned the Sig Sauer P320 over to Investigator Sinclair.

Samuel was shooting his pistol into a tree facing the roadway. Directly across the road was [VICTIM #1]’s house, where a stray bullet had traveled and entered the house through the window.

[VICTIM #2] cut a hole in the wall and recovered the fired slug.

Investigator Sinclair collected all evidence, including the video footage, and took pictures of the scene.

Samuel was arrested for Reckless Conduct for shooting a firearm in an unsafe direction that could have caused great bodily harm or death. I ran Samuel’s criminal history and also discovered he was a convicted felon for the Purchase, Possession, Manufacture, Distribution, or Sale of Marijuana. Due to Samuel being a convicted felon, he was also charged with Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon. He was transported to the Bartow County Jail, where he was booked.

[End of Narrative]