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Ga. police chief told dispatcher he shot wife moving gun in bed

ATLANTA - A police chief in Georgia told a 911 dispatcher he accidentally shot his wife while moving a handgun that was in their bed, according to a recording released Friday.

Peachtree City police Chief William McCollom called for help at 4:17 a.m. New Year's Day and reported accidentally shooting his 58-year-old wife, Margaret. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into the shooting.

CBS News obtained a recording of the 911 call Friday. In it, McCollom is heard speaking calmly to the 911 dispatcher, saying he needed medical help for an accidental gunshot wound at his suburban home, about 30 miles southwest of Atlanta.

Peachtree City Police Chief William E. McCollom CBS Atlanta

"Who shot her?" the dispatcher asked.

"Me," McCollom said. "The gun was in the bed, I went to move it, and I put it to the side and it went off."

During the call, McCollom said his wife was having difficulty breathing and appeared to be suffering from both internal and external bleeding. She was flown by helicopter to Atlanta Medical Center, where she was listed in critical condition Thursday.

McCollom's wife can be heard crying in the background.

At one point during the call, McCollom said, "I'm the chief of police."

"You're the chief of police in Peachtree City?" the dispatcher asked.

"Yeah, unfortunately, yes," McCollom responded.

McCollom said both he and his wife were sleeping prior to the gun going off.

"Oh my God," the police chief said at another point in the call. "How the hell did this happen?"

GBI spokeswoman Sherry Lang said McCollom has been cooperative with investigators. Authorities plan to interview his wife when her condition improves. Police have not charged McCollom with any crimes. Peachtree City officials placed him on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

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