911 Call: Police Chief Says He Accidentally Shot Ex-Wife in Bed
A Georgia police chief faces a misdemeanor charge after claiming that he accidentally shot his ex-wife while they were in bed together.
Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom was charged with misdemeanor reckless-conduct in connection with the Jan. 1 incident.
In a 911 call, McCollom tells the dispatcher that he shot his ex-wife, Margaret, twice when the gun accidentally went off as she slept.
"The gun was in the bed, I went to move it, and I put it to a side and it went off," he said.
The shooting left Margaret McCollom paralyzed below the waist. McCollom resigned from the chief's job in March.
Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard said investigators found no evidence McCollom intended to harm Margaret McCollom. However, Ballard said he concluded the shooting could have been prevented.
The prosecutor said McCollom told investigators he drank alcohol and took medication to help him sleep. Ballard said the investigation showed that McCollom, a former firearms instructor, woke during the night when he heard barking dogs, prompting him to grab his service handgun from a dresser and search the house. He returned to bed with the gun and told investigators he woke next to the sound of a gunshot, Ballard said. The chief said he suspected he might have been trying in his sleep to move the gun to a nightstand.
The couple had reconciled after getting a divorce in 1999. Margaret McCollom told investigators she believed the shooting was indeed unintentional.
Gretchen Carlson discussed the case today with defense attorney Eric Guster, who expressed doubts about McCollom's claim that the shooting was accidental.
Guster argued that one gunshot could possibly be explained as an accident, but two unintentional "trigger-pulls" is hard to believe.
"If a prosecutor looks at this case, this guy shot her twice. Not once, but twice, which clearly shows me this was intentional. Who can shoot someone twice [accidentally] with a handgun?" he asked.
Gretchen noted that the misdemeanor charge could be changed to a more severe charge at a later date if other evidence emerges.
Watch the report above.