Assistant police chief’s ‘house was shot up’ during crime spree

Police are looking for a group of people who opened fire on an assistant police chief’s car and home during a weekend crime spree in Newton County.

Bullet holes were found both outside and inside the home of Monroe assistant police Chief Robert Watts, according to Channel 2 Action News. Watts was home with his wife and three children at the time of the shooting, but no one was hurt.

“It breaks my heart that my wife and kids had to experience that firsthand,” Watts told Channel 2. “I do believe my house was shot up solely because I’m a police officer.”

“We are thankful Assistant Chief Watts and his family are safe,” Monroe police said in a Facebook post.

Bullet holes cover the car of the assistant police chief in Monroe. (Credit: Channel 2 Action News)

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Brian Digby, who lives near Watts in Social Circle, told the news station he heard gunshots and knew something wasn’t right.

"I couldn't see anything,” he said. “And when I looked over to the driveway, I noticed that the truck was gone."

His vehicle was one of two taken about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Channel 2 reported. Thieves also broke into nine cars, according to the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

“It’s unfortunate that something like this happened in our neighborhood,” Watts said. “This is a very good neighborhood.”

Social Circle is about 45 miles east of downtown Atlanta.

Watts said he was also disappointed in the sheriff’s office response time, which was roughly 19 minutes, Channel 2 reported. He plans to speak with the department about it, but he doesn’t expect preferential treatment.

Anyone with information about the crime spree is asked to call authorities.

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