CARUTHERSVILLE (SMNS) - A Hayti Heights police officer who told authorities he had been shot by an unknown gunman has been charged with making a false police report.
The Class B misdemeanor charge was filed Friday against Chris McNail, 22, of Doniphan by Pemiscot County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Hazel.
McNail is charged in an incident that occurred Sunday, April 25. He radioed that he had been shot and was in need of assistance.
Law enforcement officers from the Pemiscot and Dunklin County sheriff's officers and the Caruthersville, Hayti and police departments swarmed to the scene around 5:28 a.m. They found McNail in his patrol car on Pascola Road He was taken by ambulance to Pemiscot Memorial Health Systems in Hayti, where he was treated and released.
The young officer told investigators that he had driven north on Pascola Road to check on high water over the road. He told investigators that he had heard two distant shots and then was struck twice in his lower back. He said both bullets had struck his bullet proof vest.
Authorities immediately began a search of the area but failed to turn up any suspects.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drugs and Crime Control was called in by Pemiscot County authorities to help in the investigation.
As the investigation unfolded, it was determined the shooting incident was false and had been staged by McNail. Authorities said McNail had taken off his shirt and bullet proof vest earlier in the night at a location in Hayti Heights and had shot them with his back-up weapon.
McNail was suspended following the investigation.
Hayti Heights Police Chief Pernis Farmer said no decision has been made regarding his future.