Former Jericho volunteer fire chief faces charges

By Janice Broach - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

The former Jericho Volunteer Fire chief Don Payne is on crutches after being shot in the hip by Jericho police officer Eric Pharr during court at Jericho City Hall.

"It hurt tremendously, I couldn't believe it at first," Don Payne said. "I just asked myself after it happened did they really shoot  me?"

Payne said he thought the mayor would call him and ask how he was doing but instead sent a letter firing him for inappropriate behavior.

The letter added he has disgraced her name as mayor and that she was not the one who appointed him.

Janice Broach attempted to interview the mayor but she wouldn't answer her door even though someone opened the blinds.

Eric Pharr, the Jericho police officer who shot Don Payne quickly left the mayor's office today when he saw the Action News 5 Investigator.

The twist to this story is there is a warrant out for Don Payne's arrest, not the officer who shot him. Investigators say Don Payne assaulted the police chief and tried to grab officer Pharr's gun in court.

The Crittenden County Sheriff's Department talked with officers who were present in the courtroom when the shooting happened..

"He was actually reaching for one of the officers guns when the shot was fired," said Tommy Martin of the Crittenden Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Don Payne said he did not try to grab the gun or assault the police chief. He says he was just trying to help his son who was in court for getting a speeding ticket.

The 7 Jericho police officers were disbanded earlier last week.

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