JACKSON, Ga. (AP) — Authorities on Friday obtained arrest warrants for a Georgia police officer accused of lying about being shot by a suspect.
Jackson police Officer Sherry Hall made a police radio call at 12:08 a.m. on Sept. 13 and said she had been shot, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Joe Wooten said in a news conference that was broadcast online. Several officers immediately responded to assist her. Police have previously said she was shot in the abdomen but her bulletproof vest protected her.
During three separate interviews with GBI investigators, Hall said she was shot by a black man near some woods in a cul-de-sac, Wooten said. Hall is white.
Hall told investigators she did not turn on her in-car video and audio recording equipment, but investigators were able to recover evidence from the hard drive of that equipment. That evidence was inconsistent with her statements, and investigators determined she was not a victim of a shooting, Wooten said.
Jackson, GA officer Sherry Hall will be arrested & charged after accidently shooting herself & blaming it on an imaginary black male suspect pic.twitter.com/dEpLIOJvqu
— Everything Georgia (@GAFollowers) September 24, 2016
In a subsequent interview, investigators showed the video to Hall and then she stopped cooperating with the investigation, Wooten said.
GBI investigators also discovered that Hall had failed to tell them she had a second department handgun, Wooten said.
Towaliga Judicial Circuit District Attorney Richard Milam said it’s important for the community to know there is no shooter on the loose.
“There is no person out there with a gun shooting at our police officers,” he said at the news conference. “There is no person out there that needs to be found.”
Authorities would not comment on whether they believe Hall shot herself. Wooten said the investigation is active and ongoing and that there is evidence that still needs to be analyzed.
Hall had come to the Jackson Police Department from the Griffin Police Department three months ago and had a total of about four years of experience in law enforcement, Chief James Morgan said. While he had to talk to her about some minor issues, such as tardiness, she generally got along well with others and did her job well, Morgan said.
Hall is currently on paid administrative leave, Morgan said.
Hall has voluntarily booked herself into a private facility to seek help and will be arrested and booked into the Butts County jail once she is released from that facility, Wooten said.
Her case will be brought before a grand jury, and that will likely result in an indictment with additional charges, Milam said.