Wife shot by Ga. chief: Incident was unintentional

Wife said she was asleep when the shooting happened but believes it was an accident

Associated Press

ATLANTA — The wife of a Georgia police chief who told a 911 dispatcher that he accidentally shot her in bed said she was asleep when the shooting happened but believes it was unintentional, authorities said Monday.

Margaret McCollom told investigators she couldn't provide any information about the shooting, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Agent Sherry Lang said in a news release Monday.

Peachtree City Police Chief William McCollom called for help at 4:17 a.m. New Year's Day, telling the dispatcher he shot his sleeping wife in their bed. Authorities said the shot was fired from the chief's 9 mm Glock handgun, his service weapon.

Margaret McCollom's condition has been upgraded from critical to fair, Atlanta Medical Center spokeswoman Nicole Gustin said.

Peachtree City officials placed William McCollom on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. He has not been charged.

In the 911 call, William McCollom said he and his wife were both asleep when the shooting happened. He also said he was moving the gun before it fired.

"The gun was in the bed, I went to move it, and I put it to a side and it went off," McCollom said in a recording of the emergency call.

Near the end of the call, the dispatcher asked the chief whether he was also sleeping when it happened. He responded that he was.

Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard said the 911 recording is just one piece of evidence and that investigators are digging deeper to try to determine how the shooting occurred.

Before being hired in Peachtree City in 2012, McCollom worked for more than two decades in the Delray Beach, Florida, Police Department. He then became police chief in Tequesta, Florida.

William and Margaret McCollom divorced in 1999 before getting back together, court records show.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press

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