Officer accidentally shoots Assistant Chief - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Officer accidentally shoots Assistant Chief

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May 5, 2007

Boston - - The investigation into the shooting death of a Veteran South Georgia police officer continues. A fellow officer accidentally shot and killed Boston Assistant Police Chief Al Suarez Friday evening.

At the Boston Police Department, things just aren't the same. There's a somber spirit here.

"We're just taking it day by day," says Police Chief Chuck Weaver.

Thomas County workers are handling the operations this weekend as Boston police officers and staff take time off to deal with the loss of their own.

"He was my right hand man. My equal. He ran that city with me, he was a partner," Weaver says.

He was called to the station after 6 o'clock Friday night, after an officer accidentally shot Assistant Chief Al Suarez while cleaning his gun.

Weaver was there as Suarez was rushed to Archbold Memorial Hospital. He died there.

Officers aren't yet releasing the name of the officer involved.

"We've talked, but he's obviously struggling. He's having some hard times."

The Thomas County Sheriff's department and GBI agents are handling the investigation.

"We're going to take a look to see if there was some procedures that were not followed," says Thomas County Sheriff Carlton Powell.

Powell says they're questioning the officer involved.

"It's not so much any criminal intent, but I think its just a matter of trying to determine just how it all came about and what steps can be taken to prevent this type of thing in the future."

It will be up to Chief Weaver to decide if any disciplinary action will be taken against that officer. In the meantime, he mourns the loss.

"Just loveable. Could be gruff, but in the inside he was one of the kindest men I've ever known."

Of a man contributing almost 20 years to the Boston Police Department. 

Suarez once served as Police Chief in Boston himself. Before that, he was a jailer at the Thomas County Sheriff's Office. The officer who accidentally shot Suarez started at the department in November.

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