LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. -- Authorities now believe that a 70-year-old park ranger shot at Buford Dam Park last month was accidentally struck by a woman committing suicide.
The woman, 34-year-old Qiana Moore, shot D. Perry Wright in the abdomen while shooting herself at the Lower Overlook area of the park on June 27.
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Originally, detectives suspected Moore was attempting to commit "suicide by cop," and that she saw Wright's ranger uniform and mistook him for a police officer.
Wright's family released a statement Monday afternoon:
Ranger Wright and his family wish to express their extreme gratitude to those that responded to the incident of Wednesday evening; the Gwinnett County Police Department, paramedics and first responders, and the citizens who stopped and provided assistance. They are also overwhelmed with the number of messages they are receiving communicating concern, blessings, and wishes for a full recovery.
Ranger Wright is doing well in his recovery and expects to be discharged from the hospital sometime this week. Although additional recovery time will be needed at home, he looks forward to returning to the job he loves and particularly interacting and teaching children about water safety. As he is recovering, he often speaks of the joy it brings him to make a difference in these youngsters' lives as he teaches them how to be safe around the water.
The family wishes to express their thanks and requests the media to allow them privacy for rest and recovery time.
Authorities located only one shell casing on the scene, and only one shot was heard.