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Officials: Man dies from gunshot

POSTED: June 2, 2008 5:00 a.m.

A 21-year-old man is dead after authorities say he shot himself in the head following a confrontation Tuesday morning with his ex-girlfriend near a bus stop in southern Forsyth County.

Capt. Frank Huggins of the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office said Chad Michael Cornutt first attempted to shoot Stephanie Guevara, an 18-year-old senior at South Forsyth High School. When the gun misfired, he then turned it on himself.

Guevara was not injured, Huggins said.

Cornutt was taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth before being transferred to North Fulton Regional Hospital, where Forsyth County Coroner Lauren McDonald III said he died Tuesday night.

Huggins said there were no witnesses to the incident, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m. on Beaver Ridge Drive off Bethelview Road.

The street is in the Big Creek Township community, a new subdivision where large homes with well-manicured lawns are nestled close together. The community is near Polo Golf & Country Club.

"She was walking from her residence to the bus stop and was confronted in the street," Huggins said.

Huggins said Cornutt was armed with a small caliber Derringer, which misfired when he put it to Guevara’s head and pulled the trigger.

David Smith of John Thomas Homes said one of the company’s builders was on the other side of the community when the shooting occurred.

Smith said the builder heard something, but thought it was an air compressor or a nail gun because of construction in the area. He later learned it was a gunshot.

"Definitely, you wouldn’t anticipate something like that happening in that area," he said. "Not that one area is better than another, but especially that Bethelview-Post Road area."

Authorities said Cornutt lived near where the incident happened. Forsyth County school system officials said he is a 2007 graduate of South Forsyth.

The shooting comes as the school system is finishing the 2007-08 school year. Friday is the last day of classes, and South Forsyth High School’s graduation is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 27 at the Gwinnett Civic Center.

Debbie Rondem, the school system’s director of student support services, said counseling is available for students who want to talk about the incident.

"Other students may have feelings of anger or guilt, fear or shame, there are lots of different feelings so we need to address those reactions," Rondem said.



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