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February 02, 2008
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Off-duty Ga. officers shoot each other

The Associated Press

BUFORD, Ga. — Two off-duty officers from different police departments wounded each other in a gun fight in the middle of a road in an Atlanta suburb, authorities said.

Both officers suffered non-life-threatening wounds, police said. Their conditions were not immediately known on Saturday.

Officer Jay Daily, a five-year veteran of the Duluth Police Department, exchanged multiple gunshots with Fulton County officer Paul Phillips on Friday afternoon, police said.

Daily was in custody Saturday, charged with aggravated assault, Cpl. Illana Spellman of the Gwinnett County police said.

''It's been confirmed that the Duluth police officer was the aggressor in this case,'' Spellman said.

Phillips, 37, required surgery at Gwinnett Medical Center. A hospital spokesman said Saturday he could not release information about the two officers. He referred questions to Spellman, who did not immediately have an update on their injuries.

''It's been baffling to us why this situation even occurred,'' said Duluth Police Chief Randy Belcher. ''It's an embarrassment to this agency.''

Phillips, who was wearing his uniform and in a marked police car, was driving to his home in Gwinnett County, police said. He was flagged down by someone who had seen Daily involved in a physical altercation with a woman in a sport-utility vehicle.

Daily, who lives in the area, was off duty and in civilian clothing but was wearing a bulletproof vest, police said.

Police did not know what relationship Daily had with the woman or what started the confrontation. The woman, who was not identified, later was hospitalized for minor injuries she suffered before the shooting started, police said.

Belcher described Daily as ''an outstanding officer'' and said he was suspended while the investigation is under way.






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