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Georgia Police Chief Resigns After Shooting His Ex-Wife

Georgia police chief who shot his ex-wife under the influence of alcohol and sleeping medication resigned on Wednesday.
Photo by Peachtree City Police Department/AP

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It was only a few hours after the new year began that Peachtree City, Georgia Police Chief William McCollom dialed 911, claiming he accidentally shot his 58-year-old ex-wife in a bedroom in his home. In the 911 call, McCollom emphasized that the incident was an accidental shooting after he placed the gun in his bed after waking up to barking dogs and checking his house.


"The gun was in the bed, I went to move it, and I put it to a side and it went off," he told the operator.

McCollom resigned on Wednesday, months after the accidental shooting that severely injured Maggie McCollom on New Year's Day. A grand jury is now mulling whether to charge him with a misdemeanor rather than a felony, as according to officials he was under the influence of alcohol and sleeping pills at the time of the shooting.

In a statement on Wednesday, McCollom said, "I have had had two families in Peachtree City — my police family and my personal family."

"In light of the recent tragedy in my personal family, I need to continue to focus my time and efforts there," he added.

Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Ballard said that the shooting left Margaret McCollom paralyzed below the waist. She was released from the hospital less than two weeks after being shot.

Because of to the lack of evidence proving that McCollom intended to harm his wife, Ballard plans to ask a grand jury to charge McCollom with reckless conduct.

McCollom spent 30 years in the police force, primarily in South Florida. He joined the department back in 2012, and has been Peachtree City's chief of police since October.

Court records show that McCollom has gone through four divorces, including one with Margaret McCollom in 1999. The divorce or police files do not reveal any notion of violence or recklessness.