By Patrick Yost (editor)
Morgan County authorities are attempting to unravel a bizarre shooting that occurred sometime Sunday morning at a Dixie Highway residence that loosely involved several wanted felons and a victim who refused to identify himself.
According to Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley, county authorities were called to the 1151 Dixie Highway residence of Bill McGeary at approximately 7:30 a.m. Initially, Markley said, a woman at the residence called Morgan County Fire and Rescue to seek aid for a man who she said had broken his leg. When fire personnel arrived they located a black male in one of the bedroom’s of the residence with a gun shot wound to his left upper leg. Fire personnel called law enforcement officials at that point.
Markley said the victim presented officials with a fictitious name and was uncooperative. The man, Markley said, told investigators he had shot himself in the leg while cleaning a pistol. Reports state there was no pistol nor a cleaning kit in the room.
While officers were attempting to clear the house, they located McGeary asleep in one room and found another man, Jeremy Shumate, 30, Madison wandering in the house. Officers determined Shumate was wanted for a probation violation and he was arrested and removed.
The victim, who told officers his name was Eric Devon Patterson, was treated and transported to Athens Regional Medical Center with a shattered femur from the gun shot. Capt. Chris Bish, Criminal Investigations Division, said the victim was “uncooperative” during questioning and, after he received treatment at Athens Regional, escaped the hospital before investigators could question him further and is currently a fugitive.
Markley said a woman at the residence, 22–year–old Miranda Mae Wilson, Hiram, Ga. was arrested and charged with aggravated assault in connection with the man’s shooting. In a separate incident report filed by a nearby neighbor on Brownwood Road, a female matching Wilson’s description came to the man’s house at 5:15 a.m. and rang the doorbell. The complainant said the woman told him she had been kidnapped and needed to come into his house to call her grandmother in Hiram. The man reported that the woman said she feared police and did not want them involved. The complainant said he refused to allow the woman entry and she left the residence on foot.
At 8:15 a.m. the same neighbor called dispatch and said he was in contact with the same woman in a field across the street from his house. This time, deputies questioned the Wilson, who told them she was a “soldier.” The neighbor said the woman had told him before the deputies arrived that there was “a shooting at Bill’s house.” The woman told the deputy that another woman had told her to “shoot the black dude.” She said she then tried to shoot him “but the gun wouldn’t fire.”
Markley said another woman, Kathleen Francis Wright, 27, Loganville, was arrested at the scene and charged with tampering with evidence. Markley said authorities believe Wright removed the pistol used in the shooting and a shell casing from the scene. Two pistols were located in a vehicle parked in the driveway of the residence and Markley said the weapons are currently undergoing ballistic tests to determine if they were used in the shooting. A bullet was removed from the victim’s leg at Athens Regional, he said.
Deputies detained a fourth man at the residence for an outstanding warrant out of Walton County but that county refused a hold on the man and the man was released.
Markley said authorities believe McGeary, who is fully disabled, was obtaining some help from some or all of the occupants of the residence but he said he does not know specifics on any of the living arrangements.
nf shooting on dixienf shooting on dixienf shooting on dixieHe does know, he said, that since 2008 the department has responded to eight criminal complaint calls at the residence and, Bish said, authorities are going to examine the complaints and if the residence is a hazard. “We have a history of criminality at the residence that we are going to address at the sheriff’s office,” Bish said.