GENEVA COUNTY, Ala (WDHN) — On March 10th, 2009, the deadliest mass shooting in the state’s history occurred in the normally placid county of Geneva.

Twenty-eight-year-old Michael Mclendon began his massacre by killing his mother and burning down her house in Kinston.

He then headed east about 10 miles on highway 52 and went on an hour-long shooting spree with two high-powered weapons in downtown Samson and a few of its neighborhoods. Mcclendon then headed to Geneva.

Geneva County Sheriff Tony Helms, who was Chief Deputy at the time, along with a game officer, was able to fire back at the suspect on Highway 51 and kept him from continuing his carnage.

Before the spree was over, he would kill ten before taking his own life. Six others were injured.

Sheriff Helms would receive several heroic accommodations from the state legislature, the governor’s office, and other agencies.

Helms says a united law enforcement response prevented the suspect from killing additional people.

You would never have thought that somebody would have had an idea like that. now, I hate to say it. but we hear about them all the time. We’ve kind of become desensitized to them but we don’t in our area because we know what it feels like.

Sheriff Tony Helms

Sheriff Helms says March 10 will forever be in his memory for the tragedy, but also for how the community rallied around the victims’ families.