Results of Investigation into Shots Fired at Deputy
LIBERTY, July 25, 2014 - After two days of intense investigation by Cleveland Police Department Detective John Shaver and Liberty County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Investigator Kenny Dagle, it appears that what was first thought to be a deliberate act of shooting at a Deputy was rather a very careless and thoughtless discharge of a firearm into the air by some unknown person which allowed the bullets to fall down and “ shower”, and break the windshield of the patrol car with two of the spent bullets.
Sgt. Dagle reported that he and Det. Shaver, upon a close analysis of the windshield bullet strikes and the direction of glass fracture of those strikes and using a lazer beam, an angle finder and a trajectory rod determined that the slope of the windshield is at a 33 degree angle while the bullets that struck the windshield came from an upward elevation at a 24 degree angle and, left, at a 63 degree angle striking the windshield, itself. According to the Investigators this is a clear indication that, in fact, the bullets were not fired on a level plane from ground level but was, rather, evidently fired into the air at an approximate distance of 400 yards east of the Deputies patrol unit and the bullets struck the windshield as they fell from the air.
As a result of these calculations and findings by Sgt. Dagle and Det. Shaver, the Cleveland Police Department, who took the lead in this case, have changed the offense from “Attempted Capital Murder of a Peace Officer” to “Deadly Conduct” which is a third degree felony and if the person who fired these shots into the air is arrested, he or she will be charged with that offense. The investigation is continuing to determine who may have discharged the weapon into the air.
Investigators wish to stress the danger of shooting any firearm into the air as, logically, the bullets must fall from the air somewhere. There is a possibility a small child or adult could be severely injured when these bullets come to the ground or property damage could result as it did in this situation. This should be kept in mind as in New Year’s celebrations where it has become common practice to fire weapons into the air to celebrate the new year. Such actions could have tragic results and should be avoided.