Originally created 06/14/05

Officer accused in shooting is on leave



A Richmond County sheriff's investigator accused of shooting a man Saturday night at an Augusta apartment complex after a domestic dispute has been placed on leave with pay pending an investigation, Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said Monday night.

"He has not been suspended," the sheriff said.

Narcotics Investigator Brian Vallee is accused of shooting Michael Hines, 47, at the Georgian Place Apartments on Wrightsboro Road.

Mr. Hines remained at Medical College of Georgia Hospital on Monday night. An MCG spokeswoman said she could not give any information on Mr. Hines' condition.

On Saturday, police were called to the apartments at about 10:45 p.m.

They found Mr. Hines outside his apartment holding a knife to his throat. When he threatened to go upstairs and get a gun, Investigator Vallee blocked the entrance, police said.

Mr. Hines then threatened Investigator Vallee with the knife, said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Bonnie Kalbskopf.

When Mr. Hines came within 3 feet of the investigator after being warned to stop, Investigator Vallee fired one shot to "stop the threat," Investigator Kalbskopf said.

Mr. Hines was struck once in the chest. Mr. Hines is charged with aggravated assault and possession of a knife during the commission of a crime, Investigator Kalbskopf said.

Agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation typically handle shootings involving law enforcement and were at the scene Saturday, Investigator Kalbskopf said.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.