Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill shot and critically injured a woman inside a model home Sunday night, according to police. But when officers arrived at the Gwinnett County subdivision, Hill declined to provide any information on what happened and was allowed to leave.
“He refused to cooperate and give any statement,” Sgt. Brian Doan with Gwinnett police said.
The woman, a Paran Realty agent who worked inside the 3,800-square-foot, Lawrenceville-area model home, was shot in the abdomen and taken to Gwinnett Medical Center, according to police. Her name was not released late Sunday, but she and Hill were acquaintances, police said.
“She’s not able to give any information due to her condition,” Doan said.
Officers were called to Britt Trail Drive on a report of an accidental shooting shortly before 7 p.m., according to police. No information was available on who placed the call to 911, but the sign on the door of the home said it was open until 6 p.m. Sunday.
Hill was released from the scene while the investigation continued late Sunday. Officers executed a search warrant and remained at the home for several hours. The weapon used was located inside the home, but it was not known whether it was Hill’s county-issued gun.
It was not known whether Hill would face criminal charges for the shooting, which was reported to Gwinnett District Attorney Danny Porter.
“Sheriffs can be charged,” Doan said. “But, when you’re an active and sitting sheriff, there are things that have to be done before you can be charged with a crime.”
It was also not known late Sunday how the incident may affect Hill’s job. Clayton Commission Chairman Jeff Turner said the governor is the only one who could remove Hill from office.
“We have to see how the situation unfolds,” Turner said Sunday night. “He’s still the sheriff of this county. We just have to put our faith in the justice system and see what develops and handle it accordingly.”
Janice Dean was visiting a relative in the Park Haven subdivision just a few houses down from the model home when the shooting happened.
“It’s a long way to come to shoot someone accidentally,” Dean said. “I would expect him to have a gun in Clayton County, absolutely. But once he’s not in Clayton County, it should stay in the car.”
The shooting comes less than three weeks after the former Peachtree City police chief was indicted for allegedly shooting his former wife on New Year’s Day. On April 15, a Fayette County grand jury indicted William McCollom on a reckless conduct charge for the shooting, which paralyzed Maggie McCollom.
Hill, 50, is in his second term as sheriff and began his current term Jan. 1, 2013. He was also sheriff from January 2005 through 2008. Both of terms in office have included controversy.
In the fall of 2013, Hill was acquitted of racketeering charges related to his use of a county-issued credit card.
During the final week of his first term, Hill filed for bankruptcy, due partly to the amount of money he owed in damages for lawsuits against him. On his first day in office in 2005, Hill fired 27 deputies, who later sued for wrongful termination. They won their jobs back and settled for $7 million, which was paid by Clayton County.
— Staff writers Arielle Kass, Tammy Joyner and Christian Boone contributed to this report.
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