Hall County

Ga. deputy who shot motorcyclist mistook glove for gun, sheriff says

HALL COUNTY, Ga. — A Hall County sheriff’s deputy is under investigation after he shot a suspect who was holding a glove that he mistook for a gun, the sheriff has confirmed.

Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said one of their deputies pulled over a man riding on a motorcycle on McEver Road in Buford last week. During the stop, the motorcyclist crashed and tried to run away from the scene.

The man began messing with an object near his waistband while he knelt next to the crashed motorcycle before turning his back to the deputy and walked towards an unlit area.

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The driver ignored several commands to show the deputy his hands, the sheriff said.

At one point, the man quickly turned around to face the deputy and extended his arms with a black object in his hands.

Thinking the suspect had a gun, the deputy fired one shot and hit the man in the chin. He was taken to Northeast Georgia Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries. His identity has not been released.

Investigators later found that the object in the suspect’s hand was a black motorcycle glove the man had been wearing, the sheriff’s news release explained.


“Traffic stops are one of the most dangerous aspects of law enforcement. This is especially true when the traffic stop occurs at night and the suspect attempts to flee, fails to follow lawful commands, and makes an abrupt motion toward the deputy,” Sheriff Couch said. “Often, they are placed in difficult and dangerous situations where they must make split-second decisions under extremely tense situations that are uncertain and rapidly evolving, without the benefit of hindsight.”

The deputy, who has not been identified, has been placed on administrative leave with pay while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation completes its investigation.

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