Cops: Ga. police chief says he shot wife by accident – USA TODAY
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. — The police chief of a small Georgia town was placed on administrative leave Thursday after critically injuring his wife in what he told officers was an early morning accidental shooting in the bedroom of their home, according to authorities.
The victim, Margaret McCollom, 58, was flown to Atlanta Medical Center in critical condition and had not yet been interviewed, authorities told reporters in a news conference.
Chief William McCollom, who has been head of the police department in Peachtree City for about a year, called 911 around 4:15 a.m.Thursday to report the shooting, said Sherry Lang, a spokeswoman for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, WXIA-TV reports.
The initial call indicated that victim had been shot twice, Lang said, but that the investigation showed that she had been hit only once with a bullet from the chief’s 9-mm service weapon.
The GBI did not indicate what the McColloms were doing in the moments leading up to the shooting, although Lang did tell reporters that the incident occurred in the bedroom.
Officials said police had not been called to the residence in the past for any incident.
Lt. Mark Brown, who oversees professional standards for the town’s police, said the case was immediately turned over to the GBI after officers realized that a police officer was involved.
Brown said that McCollom is “well-liked, well-loved” in Peacehtree City and that he and department were being “very, very cooperative” in the investigation.
McCollom was placed on administrative leave, but was not taken into custody.
“The department is hurting at this point,” Brown said. “We are very concerned for his wife, and concerned for the chief. Right now we are trying to make sure that everything is done correctly.”
Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said it’s possible that charges could be filed if it’s determined that any laws were broken.
Peachtree City, which has a population of around 35,000 people, is about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta.
Contributing: WXIA-TV Atlanta