Chief: Officer Shot Himself, Lied About Assailant
North Charleston Police sergeant suspended without pay.
North Charleston, S.C. — A North Charleston police officer shot himself early on the 4th of July and lied when he said there was a confrontation with a suspect, according to North Charleston Police.
Sgt. Eddie Bullard had only suffered minor injuries after he was shot in his protective vest. The incident led dozens of Lowcountry law enforcement agents to search the area from Rivers Avenue near Trident Technical College back to Interstate 26.
North Charleston Police Chief Jon Zumalt said Friday that Bullard's claim that he got into a struggle with a suspect when his gun went off was a fabrication, according to several news reports, including NBC News 2.
"This afternoon we learned it didn't happen. Nobody was back there, nobody grabbed him. He shot himself," Zumalt said.
News 2 also spoke with community members upset about the officer's claims and the investigation that followed.
Charleston branch NAACP President Dot Scott told ABC News 4 that Bullard should be fired. "A dishonest cop is a dangerous cop," she said.
Scott also told ABC that this could be a learning experience for the police force.
Zumalt told the press that he's worried about Bullard's psychological well-being.
"He's very troubled," Zumalt said Friday. "Otherwise, no one else would do something like this."