William Thomas Burton was shot in the elbow and abdomen by officer Christopher Shea Hovers while fighting with officers as they tried to arrest him after a three-hour standoff at a Buttrum Road residence.
Hovers has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, according to a news release from the Floyd County Police Department.
According to the news release:
Police were called to the residence at 12:27 a.m. after receiving information that Burton was making death threats against his wife.
Police were also told that Burton was seen walking toward the residence and that weapons might be inside.
After attempting to communicate with Burton from outside the home, police say they saw him running upstairs in the residence.
Afraid that Burton’s wife might be there, they went inside.
Burton still did not communicate with police, and during a search of the residence officers found attic access in one of the bedrooms.
After Burton did not come out from the attic the S.W.A.T. team was called.
Police learned that Burton’s wife was not at home but that there was a felony warrant for Burton for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon from the Adairsville Police Department.
S.W.A.T. team members went inside the home at about 2:15 a.m. and tried to negotiate with Burton. After 45 minutes with no resolution gas was deployed inside the residence.
When Burton did not come down or respond to police, a four-man S.W.A.T. team entered the attic and found Burton hiding. The suspect refused to show officers his hands, police said.
“Fearing that he may possess weapons, a Taser was utilized on Burton,” the news release said. “At the end of the Taser cycle, Burton became hostile and kicked and fought with officers.”
Burton tried to grab the Taser and police were unable to tase Burton, the news release said.
Hovers fired two shots, according to Maj. Mark Wallace.
The first struck Burton in the elbow and Burton continued to fight with officers. The second struck him in the abdomen, and Burton continued to fight with the officers, according to Wallace.
Officers were eventually able to subdue him and take him into custody.
Police did not find a weapon on Burton, Wallace said.
“They feared he had a weapon on him when they first found him,” Wallace said. “He wouldn’t show his hands.”
Burton was originally treated in Rome, but he was later transferred to Erlanger in Chattanooga.
Pat Charles, a representative of that hospital, said Burton was in critical condition late Thursday night.