Mary Katherine Higdon
Photo: Spalding County Sheriff’s Office
Photo: Spalding County Sheriff’s Office

Georgia preschool assistant arrested in fatal shooting of boyfriend

A metro Atlanta preschool assistant told police the shooting death of her longtime boyfriend was an accident.

But they say the evidence says otherwise.

Steven Andrew Freeman, 23, was shot once in the chest Wednesday at their home in Spalding County. Investigators believe Mary Katherine Higdon, 24, pulled the trigger, Griffin police said.

Mary Katherine Higdon (left) was arrested on a charge of murder in the death of her boyfriend, Steven Freeman. (Credit: Facebook)

Higdon, a part-time teacher’s assistant at St. George’s Episcopal School in Milner, is facing charges of murder and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime, according to police.

Officers were called to the home in the 800 block of Sunnybrook Drive in Griffin about 10:42 p.m. after Freeman was shot. He was taken to Spalding Regional Hospital, where he died.

In the police report obtained by Channel 2 Action News, Higdon said she was in a back room and her gun went off when she handed it to Freeman. She told officers she didn’t understand how that happened since she never kept a round in the chamber.

The victim’s uncle told Channel 2 that the families were close, even spending Christmas morning together. He said the couple were high school sweethearts and had been together for seven years.

“The word devastation doesn’t begin to cover it,” Josh Thacker said. “It’s hard to get through a couple of minutes without crying.”

The head of St. George’s told the news station that Higdon wasn’t on its school schedule for this year.

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