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Wednesday May 22nd, 2019 3:40AM

Nobody seriously injured, suspect arrested in Jefferson officer-involved shooting

  Contact Editor

One suspect is in custody and an officer has been placed on routine administrative leave following an officer-involved shooting in Jefferson this week.

Jefferson Police were called to the scene on Aberdeen Ct. Wednesday around 11:30 p.m. with a report of a possible active shooter inside a home, said Jefferson Police Chief Joe Wirthman.

Kenneth Shane Hazelrig, 39, of Jefferson allegedly came out of the shadows and confronted officers "with what appeared to be a gun," leading to one of the responding officers to open fire, though none of his bullets hit Hazelrig.

It turned out Hazelrig was wielding a BB gun.

As Hazelrig continue coming toward the officers, they ran for cover, and Hazelrig allegedly took one of the patrol cars, eventually ramming it into another patrol car, totaling both vehicles.

"My officers in (the second) patrol car took cover, off into another yard -- a house that was right there. Both vehicles were destroyed. The suspect was injured," said Wirthman.

Hazelrig was taken to a local hospital, then to the Jackson County Detention Center. He has since been taken back to the hospital.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation, which routinely investigates officer involved shootings, was not called in for this investigation, since the suspect was not hit by any of the bullets, said Wirthman.

The Jefferson Police Department will conduct its own internal investigation, which will then be reviewed by a third-party organization.

Upon getting the call to come to the scene, Wirthman said there was only one thing on his mind.

"My first question was, 'How are my officers?'" said Wirthman, adding that he knows these sorts of situations often spark discussion about community and law enforcement relations.

"The second you pull up, a guy comes out of the shadows pointing what appears to be a firearm at you. You don't have very much time -- a split second to react. (The officer) chose to defend himself."

Some of the incident was captured on dash camera video. Jefferson Police, however, do not wear body cameras.

  • Associated Categories: Homepage, Local/State News, Georgia News
  • Associated Tags: Crime, Jefferson, Jackson County, shooting, officer involved shooting, jefferson police
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