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Mayor to Fire Police Chief Over Staging Traffic Stop to Cover Accidental Shooting

April 02, 2002

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Mayor to Fire Police Chief Over Staging Traffic Stop to Cover Accidental Shooting

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PERRYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) - The mayor said Thursday she is recommending the town fire its police chief for staging a traffic stop to cover up an earlier accidental shooting.

Chief Tim Sommer shot himself in the leg during the faked traffic stop, authorities have said. Sheriff Wayne Risner said Sommer admitted he made up the story.

Mayor Renee Mott said she would ask the village council to approve her recommendation at its meeting Monday night.

A message seeking comment from Sommer, 52, was left at his home Thursday. He has not been at work since the incident March 19.

Sommer first said he pulled over a motorist for driving without license plates, and the driver shot him in a struggle, authorities said.

Risner said Sommer, while on the radio to report the traffic stop, fired his handgun to make it appear there was trouble. He fired again after reloading, and a bullet struck his leg, the sheriff said.

Sommer made up the story because he had accidentally fired a rifle through his cruiser's windshield in the police garage, Risner said.

"Everything that happened since then was to cover up that honest mistake," Risner said.

The sheriff's department plans to finish its investigation next week and turn the case over to the county prosecutor.

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