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Columbus police officers placed on leave after shooting

 

An armed Billy Beverang was shot by police at his 1603 Sixth St. N. home after his wife called authorities over a suicide attempt.

An armed Billy Beverang was shot by police at his 1603 Sixth St. N. home after his wife called authorities over a suicide attempt.
Photo by: Kelly Tippett  Buy this photo.

 

Investigator Raymond Hackler

 

 

Garthia Elena Burnett

 

Two Columbus policemen remained on administrative leave today as the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation looked into a Wednesday night shooting involving the officers. 

 

Investigator Raymond Hackler, a four-year police officer, shot an armed 53-year-old man during an incident at 1603 Sixth St. N. in Columbus. 

 

The incident occurred at about 8:26 p.m., on the back porch of the residence. Police were called to the scene for an attempted suicide. 

 

Billy Beverang''s wife called police because he was drunk and threatening to kill himself, she said this morning, declining to give her name. 

 

According to his wife, Beverang was shot in the abdomen and at least two shots were fired; one may have been fired by Beverang. 

 

Beverang was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle where he remained this morning, awaiting surgery, his wife said. The injury was "not life threatening," Columbus Police Department Public Information Officer Terrie Songer said. 

 

The CPD is offering little details on the incident, since it has been turned over to MBI. And the department would not confirm name of the shooting victim, pending the conclusion of the investigation. 

 

Hackler was placed on paid administrative leave, "not as a punitive action," but for his own well-being, said Columbus Police Chief Joseph St. John. Another officer on the scene, Michael Harlow, who has been with the department less than a year, also was placed on paid leave. 

 

The length of time for the administrative leave can vary, depending on the individual, St. John said. 

 

"They''re released, talk to a (mental-health) professional and return when they are ready," he said. 

 

The CPD routinely turns over investigations to other agencies when they involve an officer discharging his or her weapon. 

 

The last time Columbus officers were involved in shootings was in February 2008. On Feb. 28, 2008, Lennell Hearn, then 69, opened fire at the Towne Square shopping center on 18th Avenue North, not far from the location of Wednesday''s shooting. St. John was working out at the Fitness Factor, in the shopping center, when the shooting occurred. He exchanged fire with Hearn. 

 

Hearn wounded his wife, Dorothy Hearn, former Columbus City Councilman Kamal Karriem and CPD Reserve Officer Guy Taylor in the shooting, before now-retired Lt. Keith Worshaim shot Hearn. 

 

Though trials in the case were delayed due to mental evaluations, a judge deemed Hearn competent to stand trial. In 2009, he was sentenced to 38 years in prison. 

 

Earlier in February 2008, CPD Assistant Police Chief Joe Johnson fatally shot 21-year-old Justin Smith; officers were responding to a burglary call and Smith had a warrant out for his arrest for contempt of court.

 

The contents of this article have been modified since its original posting.

 

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Reader Comments

Article Comment zenreaper commented at 4/7/2011 4:50:00 PM:

"Billy Beverang's wife called police because he was drunk and threatening to kill himself, she said this morning, declining to give her name.

According to his wife, Beverang was shot in the abdomen and at least two shots were fired; one may have been fired by Beverang.

Beverang was transported to Baptist Memorial Hospital-Golden Triangle where he remained this morning, awaiting surgery, his wife said. The injury was "not life threatening," Columbus Police Department Public Information Officer Terrie Songer said.

The CPD is offering little details on the incident, since it has been turned over to MBI. And the name of the shooting victim is being withheld, pending the conclusion of the investigation."

So, essentially, HERE is the name of the victim, and they are withholding the name? You are KIDDING, right? As if SHOOTING a person attempting suicide is not ironic enough.

 

Article Comment garthia commented at 4/7/2011 6:54:00 PM:

The online version of this story changed throughout the morning as it developed. This final version should have said police would not confirm the identity of the victim. I'll change it for clarity's sake. Thanks for pointing out the oversight.

 

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