Peachtree City police chief shoots wife; GBI investigating - CBS46 News

Peachtree City police chief shoots wife; GBI investigating

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PEACHTREE CITY, GA (CBS46) -

Agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are trying to determine whether the chief of police in Peachtree City shot his wife intentionally or accidentally.

At approximately 4:17 a.m. on Thursday, January 1, officers responded to the 100 block of Autumn Leaf in Peachtree City in reference to a call of a person shot.

Once officers realized the shooting had taken place at the home of their boss, investigators called for the assistance of the GBI, which took over the case.

According to Sherry Lang, a spokeswoman for the GBI, Peachtree City Police Chief William E. McCollom called 911 to report that he had accidentally shot his wife.

Click here to listen to the complete 911 call.

"The initial reports that we got from the 911 call were that the chief had shot his wife accidentally twice," said Lang. "As a result of our preliminary interview, we have found that he only shot her one time."

McCollom's wife Margaret was transported by air helicopter to the Atlanta Medical Center where she was listed in critical condition.

The city manager placed McCollom on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation and an internal review. It is customary to place an officer on leave when he or she is involved in a shooting, authorities said.

During the afternoon press conference, Lang said that Margaret McCollom had been shot in the couple's bedroom. She has not yet been interviewed about the incident because of her condition.

As far as the GBI is aware, there were no other witnesses to the shooting, Lang said. She said McCollom is cooperating with the investigation and that he has not been charged; nor is he currently in custody.

Neighbors said they were confused when they saw government vehicles outside the McCollom home.

"My first thought is, 'Will is making breakfast for some of his men,'" said neighbor Rick Viall. "That's when I saw the vehicles. You didn't see any labels. Then I see a guy with a GBI vest on and I'm like uh-oh."

Viall called the McColloms great neighbors who are well liked by their community. Viall has never heard any of trouble with the couple.

"They are just good people, both of them. I've never seen either of them yell at each other," Viall said.

Lt. Mark Brown of the Peachtree City Police Department said that the chief has an extensive law enforcement career and that the department is concerned for both McCollom and his wife.

"The department is hurting. At this point we're very concerned for obviously his wife, and we're concerned for the chief," Brown said.

Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said the GBI's findings will determine whether McCollom will face criminal charges.

"We'll keep an open mind about this, and certainly the GBI is taking an open mind," said Ballard. "The police department is being incredibly cooperative."

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