It’s a sad and confusing time right now in a Georgia town called Peachtree City. Police Chief William E. McCollom had shot his 58-year-old wife, Margaret, who is currently in critical condition.
Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) is taking over the case and will not yet say what motivated the shooting or where the victim got shot, so we do not know whether it was an accident, self-defense, or due to a domestic fight. All that appears to be known for now is that the shooting took place in the couple’s bedroom.
The Peachtree City Manager had said due to standard procedure, the Chief will be put on administrative leave while the investigation is pending.
Investigators have questioned McCollom about the shooting, and also plan to question his wife when she makes a recovery and better able to speak.
It has been noted that even if this was an accidental shooting, some charges can still be filed. Only time will tell us what happened in this case, and we need to be patient for more details to come about.
Peachtree City Police Lt. Mark Brown made the following remarks:
The department’s hurting at this point. We’re very concerned for obviously his wife, we’re concerned for the chief.
Fayette County District Attorney Scott Ballard said the following:
Charges are possible when people break the law, and we have to investigations to determine whether that is the case. We’ll keep an open mind about this, and certainly the GBI has taken an open mind. The police department has been incredibly cooperative with them as they gave the facts they need. When we have those facts, we’ll see if it’s appropriate to bring charges.
The Police Department have noted that McCollom, who has been in law enforcement for nearly 30 years, had gained a very good reputation with the department during his short reign as the city’s police chief, according to Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch.
The first thing that comes to my mind is this: Do not jump to conclusions. How many times must people learn this lesson? Take for example the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and Antonio Martin.
Here is the myth and fact for each case:
Myth #1: Michael Brown was an unarmed kid and a victim of police brutality.
Fact #1: Michael Brown was not unarmed. He initiated the fight with Darren Wilson and reached for his gun. Wilson gave him multiple chances in between shots to surrender, but Brown continued to not comply.
Myth #2: Antonio Martin was only pointing a cell phone at the cop, and the gun was mysteriously placed by the police.
Fact #2: There is video footage that appears to show Martin pointing a gun at the cop. Plus, there’s no evidence that the police ever planted a gun out of nowhere.
These 2 cases from last year are concrete examples why we cannot afford to jump to conclusions in any case where we don’t know the details yet. I just pray and hope the wife makes a full and speedy recovery, and that all questions about how and why this incident occurred all get answered. I also hope the chief himself can remain safe and not be the target of any anti-police protesters who have read about this incident.
Regardless of the results, it goes to show that we’re all human and make mistakes, whether it’s a police officer, teacher, politician, or anyone in any other field. There shouldn’t be any finger pointing or blame until the investigation is completed.