Two men jailed after separate standoffs with deputies

Two Camden County men are in jail today after shooting at people in two separate incidents on Tuesday afternoon and barricading themselves in two separate houses at the same time, according to press releases for Camden County Sheriff’s Office.

John Samuel Rowland, 67, of White Oak and Zachary Dean Ford, 28, of Waverly were both arrested for aggravated assault.

Dispatchers in the 911 center were first notified at 3:21 p.m. that a man, who turned out to be Rowland, was allegedly shooting at people near 215 Old Burnt Fort Road in northwestern Camden County.

Deputies — including the Camden County Emergency Response Team — responded and found him barricaded in a house. He had broken all of the windows and destroyed the interior. Relatives said he was angry about a breakup and had been asked to leave the house. Neighbors said he had been shooting at people outside and along the road in front of the house and breaking windows and furniture.

Rowland stayed in the house for hours, cutting off communication with his family and refusing to speak with deputies who tried every way to make contact. Deputies dropped a robotic camera in through a broken window. They saw Rowland in the house and noticed that he had placed weapons throughout the house.

After firefighters arrived, deputies released CS gas into the house. Rowland refused to come out and set the house on fire before coming out of the front door, wearing a hockey-style face mask and carrying a lighter. He was arrested at 9 p.m., nearly six hours after the first report.

“You can definitely tell a full moon is on the rise,” CCSO Lt. Cedric Brown said after Rowland surrendered.

Rowland told investigators that he had started the fire to destroy the house and had put gas cans throughout the house to help the fire spread.

The case is still under investigation and additional charges may be forthcoming.

In a completely separate incident, 911 dispatchers got a call at 4:39 p.m. about shots being fired at 324 Latrell Lane in northeastern Camden as deputies were still on the call in Burnt Fort.

Deputies on that call learned that Ford had allegedly shot at a man who was dating his ex-girlfriend. Ford went into the house, allegedly threatened his mother and barricaded himself in the house.

Deputies negotiated with Ford before he surrendered at 6:54 p.m.

That case is also still under investigation. 

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