COVINGTON - Only a fraction of an inch saved a Magnolia Heights woman from death Sunday morning when she was shot with a .22-caliber handgun by her live-in boyfriend, according to the Covington Police Department.
"We had got a call for 'trouble unknown' at Magnolia Heights around 3 a.m. When officers got there, they found a female bleeding from the head. She was covered in blood and there was a substantial amount of blood in the parking lot," CPD spokesman Lt. Wendell Wagstaff said.
Wagstaff said the woman was incoherent - although later it was determined she was intoxicated - and because of the great loss of blood, EMS couldn't determine the extent of her injuries.
"It really looked bad when the officer got there. It looked worse than it was," Wagstaff said. "EMS looked at her, and they requested a life flight and she was life-flighted to Grady."
It turned out the woman was shot in the ear, although Wagstaff said there was a small wound in the "head area," but the bullet did not penetrate.
"It could have been a whole lot worse. We're talking clearly a matter of an inch or so," Wagstaff said.
After the woman reached the hospital, it was determined she was stable and her injuries were not life-threatening.
Meanwhile, officers were on the hunt for the boyfriend, who had left the scene by the time they arrived.
A few hours later, Christopher Joe Parker, 25, of 10334 Magnolia Heights Circle was arrested and charged with aggravated assault under the Family Violence Act and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.
"It was through the diligence of our officers that we were able to find him and take him into custody," Wagstaff said. "They kept the area surrounded and were in the woods with the dog, and their persistence paid off when he came out of the woods near Jefferson Village. After a short foot chase, they apprehended him."
Officials then learned Parker was on probation for a previous shooting that resulted in a charge from the Newton County Sheriff's Office and conviction in 2007.
"Because of that, the judge didn't give him a bond and revoked his probation. There will be a bond hearing on June 18," Wagstaff said.
Wagstaff said evidence at the scene showed the woman had apparently been shot inside the residence and had fled to the driveway.
"There was blood everywhere in the house, and we could see where she had unlocked the door with a bloody hand. Then blood trailed to the parking lot," Wagstaff said.
Barbara Knowles can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org