APPLING COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - An Appling County sheriff’s deputy is home recovering after being injured while trying to take a man into custody Thursday afternoon.
During the scuffle between deputies and the man they were after, a deputy’s gun went off. Now, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has been called in to investigate.
Fortunately, the deputy involved, Captain Jeff Evans, is now home after being treated and released from a local hospital for a shoulder injury.
Neither Evans nor the man deputies were trying to arrest - Derrick Morris - were hit by the gunfire. This all unfolded in the Flash Food store on South Main Street in Baxley. Morris was wanted on drug-related offenses, and as deputies approached him in the parking lot of the store, Morris started to struggle with them, injuring Captain Evans.
Appling County Sheriff Mark Melton says his deputy and Morris are lucky they weren’t hit by the gunfire. He says he regularly reminds his staff to be on guard in every situation.
“We’re not on the offense. We’re on the defense most of the time, so we have to be prepared to act even faster than what other folks do. It’s very dangerous for us most of the time, when we don’t know if they’re going to respond properly to our commands, or if they’re going to be combative, which is kind of what we dealt with yesterday," Sheriff Melton said.
The investigation is active and ongoing. Anyone with more information about this case is being asked to call either the Appling County Sheriff’s Office or the GBI’s Douglas office.