Guns, training gun found where police say sheriff shot woman
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. (AP) — Investigators recovered multiple guns as well as a fake training gun from the empty model home where police said a Georgia sheriff shot and critically wounded a woman, according to law enforcement documents.
Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill faces a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct in the May 3 shooting, which critically wounded real estate agent Gwenevere McCord, 43, Gwinnett County police have said. Hill was released from jail on a $2,950 bond and has vowed to stay on the job.
Police have said the two were alone in the model home roughly 50 miles northeast of Hill’s office when the shooting happened.
A list obtained by The Associated Press of items taken from the home by investigators includes a “gun, badge and knives from front porch,” a .22-caliber handgun, a .40-caliber handgun, a blue training gun, a bloody shirt, a shell casing, a glass jar, blood swabs and a backpack with books and an iPad in it.
Hill called 911 and reported he accidentally shot McCord, whom he identified as a “female friend,” while they were “practicing tactics,” an investigator wrote in multiple requests to a judge for permission to do various searches. Officers who arrived at the scene found McCord just inside the front door of the home, the investigator wrote.
Hill’s lawyer told investigators his client would not give any statements about the shooting, and McCord has been unable to give any statement to police because of the serious injuries she suffered, authorities have said.
Investigators asked for and received permission from a judge to take DNA samples from both Hill and McCord so they can compare them with DNA samples taken from the guns and fake gun found at the home.
Hill was on the phone when police arrived, and an investigator took his phone for evidence. The investigator got a judge’s permission to gain access to Hill’s contacts, call logs, Internet activity, photos, videos, text messages and phonebook activity, an investigation document shows.
Police also searched a black Chevrolet Camaro at the home that Hill’s attorney identified as his client’s work vehicle and a white Nissan Altima belonging to McCord but didn’t take anything from either vehicle.
In a statement released two days after the shooting, Hill called McCord a dear friend and said he’s been praying for her and her family. He called the shooting a tragic accident.
Hill’s time as sheriff in Clayton County, just south of Atlanta, has been filled with controversy. On his first day a decade ago, he fired more than two dozen deputies. He also used a military tank on drug raids as part of a tough-on-crime message.
He was voted out of office in 2008 but won it back again in 2012 despite facing more than two dozen criminal charges in a corruption case. A jury later acquitted him of all 27 charges, including theft and giving false statements. That cleared the way for Hill to continue as sheriff.