Police: Father fires at man but hits his neighbor instead

COVINGTON -- Covington police officers responded to the scene of what was reportedly a random shooting at Brown Bridge Crossing on Tuesday morning. It was soon learned, however, that it was a deliberate shooting, but the wrong person caught the bullet.

According to CPD Lt. Paul Dailey, officers were called to Tara Drive about 11 a.m.

"Initial reports from the victim of the shooting, who was shot in the leg, stated a black male with braids came up to him while he was in his carport and shot him," Dailey said, adding that officers were told the suspect ran back through the woods toward Turner Lake Recreation Complex. "Officers responded to the scene, surrounded the area and began a search for the perpetrator."

However, as detectives arrived on the scene, it became apparent that stories of what had occurred were not matching, Dailey said, and the truth eventually came out. Dailey said the perpetrator came home to find a 20-year-old man in the house with his teenage daughter. A confrontation began in the house, continued into the yard and ended with the 20-year-old fleeing and the father allegedly firing a .38-caliber revolver at him.

"What took place was the neighbor across the street (from the victim) had a confrontation with a male, shot across the street in an attempt to scare him and accidentally shot his neighbor," Dailey said.

Andre Hickson, 39, of 9325 Tara Drive was arrested and charged with aggravated assault and reckless conduct.

The 32-year-old victim was shot in the calf of his leg and transported to Newton Medical Center where he was treated and released.

"It turns out the victim knew exactly what happened, but he didn't want to tell on the neighbor across the street," Dailey said, adding that no charges have been filed against him at this time. "The neighbors are very good friends and agreed on a cover-up."

The 20-year-old man who fled the scene came to police headquarters Wednesday morning and confirmed the story of what took place.

"He said he ran because he was scared because he was being shot at," Dailey said.

CPD officers, along with canines and Newton County Sheriff's Office deputies scoured the area for approximately an hour looking for the phony suspect, and Turner Lake Recreation Complex was closed as a precaution during that time, according to Recreation Director Tommy Hailey.

CPD spokesman Lt. Wendell Wagstaff said he'd like to express thanks to the NCSO for its assistance in the matter.