08/24/2003

Grant Police Chief Dead from Being Shot in Face

Officer Down: Chief Veron Lemaster - [Grant, Alabama]

GRANT (AP)-- Grant Police Chief Verlon Lemaster was shot to death and at least one other person was wounded Friday morning after a confrontation at a house in Grant, authorities said.

Lemaster accompanied Marshall and Madison County deputies to the home on Cathedral Caverns Highway looking for a stolen gun shortly after 10 a.m., Marshall County District Attorney Steve Marshall told The Huntsville Times.

When they confronted those at the house, shots were exchanged. Lemaster was shot in the face and died at 11:45 a.m. after being flown to Huntsville Hospital, hospital spokesman Jeremy Hosier said.

At least one other man was wounded and flown by helicopter to the hospital. The man's identity and condition was not immediately available.

Lemaster was the longtime chief in Grant, a mountaintop community of about 700 people in northeast Marshall County.

A deputy from Madison County accompanying Lemaster was not hurt, said Maj. Rick Weaver, spokesman for the Madison County Sheriff's Department.

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