BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. -- A City of Jackson police officer is stable and alert after being shot in the abdomen during an altercation with a suspect Tuesday morning.
According to Chief James Morgan with the Jackson Police Department, Officer Sherry Hall was on routine patrol when she came across an argumentative man just after midnight in the wood line area of Walker Street and Camelia Court.
According to Morgan, Hall was trying to talk to the man when the situation suddenly escalated and he pulled out a gun and shot her once. She was hit in the lower right abdomen, but Morgan said her ballistic vest "no doubt" saved her live. Hall was taken to Macon Medical Center, where she is alert and stable.
As the suspect ran away from the scene, Hall fired at him twice, but investigators don't know at this time whether the suspect was hit. Authorities said he's still at large.
The Georgia Bureau is assisting the Jackson Police Department with their investigation, and Hall has been placed on administrative leave as is customary with officer-involved shootings.
Officials expect Hall to make a full recovery, and are focusing on getting her the medical attention and peer counseling so she can get back to work quickly.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, Morgan called Hall, a four-year law enforcement veteran, the ultimate professional.
"She’s highly trained and gives it her all,” Morgan said. "She’s a very good officer and a very good person."
Morgan said Hall is already ready to get back to the force to help out the small department of 13 officers, which described as "a family."
"I look at them as if they're my children," Morgan said. "But we have to rise above it and be the professionals we are and continue to do the job that we have to do.”
That job now, according to the chief, is to continue to make sure the community remains safe and that the suspect is captured. When asked whether the community should be concerned, Morgan replied, “in a situation like this, sure.”
At this time, investigators don't have much to go on, but do have a vague description of the suspect. He is said to be a 5'8" to 6' black male weighing about 200 pounds.