Lieutenant Michael Wilson, an elected police constable and member of the sheriff’s department at Scott County Jail in Tennessee, was charged this week in an incident that, according to the police description, appears to have resulted from his bizarre choice of recreation after downing a few drinks. Or perhaps more than a few.
Apparently, Wilson decided that it would be fun to stand on the porch of his house with a BB gun and shoot kids playing on the grounds of a neighboring church in the small — population 3,100 — town of Oneida, Tennessee.
“We were just playing volleyball and all of the sudden I just heard a gun-click sound and I was just freaking out because it was so fast and then all of sudden, something hits my leg,” said 17-year-old Addison Caldwell.
The teen and two young friends were playing on the grounds of Oneida Church of God on May 21, at about 8:30 in the evening. But their game got broken up when they realized that someone was shooting at them.
“We kept hearing metal. I guess it was from the garage, it kept hitting the garage,” said Addison Caldwell.
She soon figured out the hard way what was causing the metallic sound when a pellet struck her in the leg.
“It was really hard and it was really fast. It couldn’t have been a bug bite,” she told WLVT-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Two other kids also got shot by the painful — and highly dangerous — BBs. Luckily, none of the youngsters was seriously injured and escaped with no more than stinging welts and bruises — and a case of jangled nerves. But the damage caused by the BBs could have been much worse.
The man doing the shooting, Oneida police say, was Wilson, a lieutenant in the Scott County Sheriff’s Department, assigned to the county jail.
When police got a call about the shootings, they checked out Wilson’s home and found a BB gun on the front porch. They also said they found Wilson in bed, drunk.
The three kids who were hit by the BBs described the man who shot them, and that description matched Wilson, police said. The teens also identified the BB gun itself.
Wilson denied firing the BB gun at the kids but admitted that he owned the weapon. Although he has been charged with assault, he was not arrested.
BB guns have been involved in two high-profile police shooting cases in recent months. Last August, 22-year-old John Crawford was shot dead by police while holding a BB gun in a Beavercreek, Ohio, Walmart.
Then, in November, 12-year-old Tamir Rice was shot and killed by Cleveland, Ohio, police when he was seen waving a BB gun in a public park.
But Lieutenant Michael Wilson, who, according to the allegations against him, actually fired his BB gun, senselessly shooting three young people, was simply placed on administrative leave.