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January 23, 2013

Saved by a phone call

THOMASVILLE — A patient arriving for treatment at the Archbold dialysis facility early Wednesday morning wondered why a purse lay on Old Albany Road.

Christopher Sheffield saw children waiting nearby for a school bus and thought the purse was somehow connected to the youngsters.

He saw a black Lexus parked at the front door of the facility and assumed it was another patient about to undergo dialysis.

At that point, Sheffield, 50, received a phone call about picking up someone. He responded to the message and returned to the site a few minutes later. The purse still lay on the highway. From the activity, it appeared that maybe a child had been struck by a vehicle.

“I’m kind of glad I got that call,” Sheffield said during a Wednesday telephone interview from inside the dialysis facility. “Otherwise, I would have walked right into the middle of it.”

Gunfire had been under way in the building when he received the call and left.

Sheffield had driven away from the dialysis facility moments before Leonard Threadcraft and his ex-wife entered the building, and shots were fired.

Threadcraft, described as a minister of the gospel, died by his own hand at the entrance of the Archbold dialysis facility, 201 Old Albany Road.

See Thursday's edition for more details.

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