Man falsely reports shooting, is arrested for cocaine

by Wes Mayer

A Newnan man who called Coweta 911 Friday to report a shooting — that authorities determined did not happen — ended up being arrested for possession of cocaine, according to police.

Around 11 p.m., Officer Doug Jones with the Newnan Police Department responded to the caller’s address on Westgate Park Drive. According to Jones’ report, after he was dispatched to the residence, the caller additionally told 911 operators he was the shooter, and the victim was lying in the back yard.

When Jones arrived at the address, he walked through the backyard and found no evidence of a shooting or any shooting victim, he reported. Jones then knocked on the front door and spoke to the homeowner, but the homeowner said he did not call police. While Jones was talking to the homeowner, Eric Jerome Walker, 26, who lived in the basement, appeared at the bottom of the basement staircase and told Jones he was the one who made the call.

According to the report, Jones walked downstairs and followed Walker into his bedroom. There, Walker described the situation.

Walker started by telling Jones he was at a liquor house, an unlicensed, illegal and residential liquor store, on Westgate Park Lane earlier, and he was robbed by two black males. Because of this, Walker said he pulled out his Glock .45 caliber pistol and shot one of the robbers point blank in the head. Walker said the shooting occurred in his residence’s back yard, and the victim was still lying there.

As Walker described the situation to Jones, Jones reported noticing a white powdery substance around Walker’s nose. Jones explained to Walker he didn’t find any evidence of a shooting, but Walker seemed determined he shot somebody. Jones also noticed a bulge in Walker’s clothing, and he asked Walker if he had any weapons in his possession. Walker said he had a knife, so Jones patted him down and removed a large butcher’s knife from Walker’s pants.

Jones then asked Walker, if there was a shooting, where did he put the gun — and Walker said it was in the backyard shed. According to the report, Jones told Walker he was being detained for their safety, Walker was placed in handcuffs and Jones escorted him to the back yard.

Once there, Jones searched the shed, but he could not find a gun, he reported.

According to Jones, after he told Walker he didn’t find it, Walker changed his mind and said he buried it in the backyard. Jones walked to the spot where Walker said he buried the gun, but it was covered by debris and leaves and looked like it had not been disturbed in a while, Jones said. After this, Jones escorted Walker to the back seat of his patrol car so he could finish his investigation.

With Walker temporarily in custody, Jones returned to the home and received permission from the homeowner to search Walker’s room, Jones reported. In Walker’s room, Jones found a baggie containing suspected cocaine lying in plain view on the floor next to the bed — Jones suspected the white powdery substance in the baggie matched the white powdery substance around Walker’s nose.

Jones found no other evidence of a shooting at the residence, and returned to Walker to tell him he was being charged for falsely reporting a crime and for possession of cocaine. Walker was transported to the Coweta County Jail.

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