Sheriff: Detective shot by boyfriend - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Sheriff: Detective shot by boyfriend

By Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News

DALTON, WHITFIELD COUNTY (WRCB) - A north Georgia police officer is recovering Thursday from a gun shot wound to the leg.

Emerson Detective Sara Shinall says she was shot in the leg by her boyfriend at their Dalton home early Tuesday morning.

Like the Whitfield County Detectives, Channel 3 spent the day speaking to neighbors.  Everyone said, they never suspected this in their quaint neighborhood.

Shortly after 12:00 a.m. Tuesday police responded 166 Valley Point Drive in Dalton, on what was believed to be an accidental shooting.

Detective Sara Denise Shinall was off duty, and on the floor, a gunshot wound in her leg yelling, "he shot me, get him away from me"

"He discharged the firearm striking her in the leg and basically refused to let her call for medical assistance," says Whitfield County Sheriff, Scott Chitwood.

The accidental shooting started to look like a domestic violence case. So officers handcuffed Melvin Roberts right away.

"I wonder what's going through these people's mind, to take it to that level. To deny medical attention, it's hard to comprehend," says Sheriff Chitwood.

Channel 3 took a closer look into Roberts' past, and quickly learned it wasn't his first domestic related arrest.

In 2003, he served five years probation for throwing gasoline in his then wife's face, and threatening to light her on fire.

Sheriff Scott Chittwood, says his past will no doubt come into play in court.

"To have been charged and done what he's done in the past. I think that's something that our district attorney is going to have to look at very heavily and go from there," says Chitwood.

Roberts is charged with aggravated battery with a gun, aggravated assault with a gun, false imprisonment and possession of a gun during commission of a felony. He was denied bond and is due in court Friday morning.

In the meantime, neighbors that knew Melvin for a lifetime, shake their heads and wonder why.

"I'm sorry it happened, I'm sorry about Melvin," Paul Johnson says.

Another neighbor, Carl Gaddis adds, "what would you think if it happened in your front yard?"

Channel 3 spoke with the Emerson Police Department, they said Shinall truly is one of their best. She is expected to make a full recovery, and will return to the force as soon as possible.

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