by: Richard Elliot Updated:GRIFFIN, Ga. —
A Griffin police officer is home recovering after a gunman shot him in the head during an emergency 911 call.
Police said Steve Walker shot Lt. Curtis Keys, a 12-year police veteran, through the window of his patrol car Wednesday night. The round struck Keys in the head.
Officer Colt Tolen, a three-year veteran, returned fire and struck Walker multiple times.
Both men were airlifted to Atlanta hospitals. Keys was released Thursday morning. Walker remains in critical condition at Atlanta Medical Center.
Walker's brother, Luqman Muhammad, said his sibling has been involved in a very public, five-year-long legal battle to win custody of his 11-year-old daughter.
According to Muhammad, Walker got word two days ago that there was the possibility he would not be able to see his daughter again.
"They think he's off his rocker because he's concerned for his daughter," said Muhammad. "It don't surprise me if he snapped."
Neighbors said they saw Walker exhibit erratic behavior Wednesday as he dragged furniture out of his Circus Street home and put it on the curb. He also used a hammer to knock down portions of his fence and parts of a tree on his property.
But then, Shanicka Thomas said, Walker confronted her husband with a pistol outside their home.
After her husband ran inside, Thomas
said, Walker began banging on the door, demanding to come in. She called 911.
Griffin Police Capt. Dwayne Jones said Tolen was the first on the scene, but Keys, Tolen's shift supervisor, arrived moments later. They said Walker opened fire on them.
"We believe the suspect shot at the backup officer, and the round went through the windshield," said Jones. "We're just very thankful that he was not injured
any more severely that what he was."
Tolen is on routine administrative duty as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation investigates the shooting.