A woman remains in a Macon hospital after she was shot once in the face during a bizarre chain of events in the early hours of Saturday, March 10.
According to police reports, Tiffany Nicole Tucker, 28, Lawrenceville, was life-flighted from U.S. 441 near Seven Islands Road after Madison Police Department officers and Morgan County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to dispatch calls regarding a man waving and firing a gun at motorists somewhere between Eatonton and Madison.
Madison Police Department Officer Stacey Eaton arrived at the intersection of Maddox Road and U.S. 441 at approximately 3:50 a.m. and, reports state observed a vehicle sitting in the road with flashers on.
Eaton stated in a report that he stopped his patrol car approximately 75 yards from the vehicle and produced his service rifle, in part, because of the calls made to dispatch alleging that a man had been shooting at motorists. Eaton said a man later identified as Ryan Heath Burt, 30, Eatonton was leaning inside the passenger side of the vehicle and when he turned he allegedly waved a small black handgun in the air.
Eaton said he gave Burt several commands to drop the weapon and “Burt stated he was going to kill me if I didn’t help his wife…”
Burt, Eaton’s report states, eventually threw the handgun onto U.S. 441 and Eaton ordered Burt to the ground but, reports state, Burt refused and again threatened the officer with his life if he did not help his wife.
Eaton said as he got near to the man, Burt dropped to his knees and allegedly to Eaton “… to kill him or he was going to kill me.”
Eaton was then provided a chance to glance in the vehicle and observed Tucker with a single gun shot wound to the neck. He called EMS.
Burt told the officer, reports state, that Tucker had allegedly shot herself during an argument and that Burt had stopped the car and fired shots in the air in an attempt to coerce motorists to stop and help him with Tucker. Burt told the officer he had fired the weapon five times.
Burt then applied pressure to Tucker’s wound. Deputy Christopher Lash, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, Madison Police Department Officer Andre Johnson and Sgt. George Jackson, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, then arrived on scene. According to their reports, Burt allegedly told the officers Tucker had shot herself with a .38 SPL revolver and that the gun was currently on the floorboard of the vehicle. Officer Eaton recovered the weapon.
After EMS arrived, reports state, officers had to detain Burt because of “the threats he made towards deputies and officers.”
Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markely said authorities continue to investigate the incident and that an initial investigation of the incident shows that Tucker “reached down and grabbed the gun and the next thing she knew, she was shot.”
“All indications are she either shot herself or it was accidental,” Markley said.
Tucker was flown to the Macon Trauma Center. Burt was released at the scene and allowed to leave in the vehicle. Officers recovered the .38 revolver, a .410 Taurus Judge and numerous rounds for both weapons.