DeSoto County Sheriff's Deputy terminated for shooting himself; falsifying report - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

DeSoto County Sheriff's Deputy terminated for shooting himself; falsifying report

DeSoto County Sheriff's Commander Mark Blackson said Deputy John Staggs' story just didn't add up.

"I had some red flags within two minutes on the scene. It was that quick," Blackson said.

He said the evidence and witness information were too far a stretch from what Staggs said happened.

"All that information has to do is match each other like a jigsaw puzzle and when it doesn't match then it didn't happen that way," Blackson said.

Staggs radioed dispatch last Thursday night saying he was going to check the boat dock store at Lakeview Trailer Park near Highway 61. He then radioed for backup saying two suspects shot him and sped off in a dark car. Staggs had gun shot wounds in his left arm and right shoulder.

After investigators interviewed Staggs, he finally admitted he shot himself!

"We don't have any motive as to why he did it," Blackson said.

More than 100 law enforcement officers searched for the suspects Blackson says never existed.

However, the deputy will not face charges for his deception.

"We're not going to pursue a criminal charge because it's only a misdemeanor charge to begin with and quite frankly, his career in law enforcement is done," Blackson said.

Blackson said it is a mystery why former Deputy John Staggs shot himself and then claimed it happened in a shootout with two suspects.

"I can tell you that the department is trying to assist him in getting all the help he does need," Blackson said.

Blackson says after two years on the force, he didn't see this coming.

"We have not had any indication that we have on file right now that he has a mental problem to the point there was a red flag that jumped up that something like this could occur," Blackson said.

He said putting your life on the line every day can be a challenge and the sheriff's office offers an outlet.

"We actually have two peer counselors on the Sheriff's Department right now and everybody in the department knows if they've got any issue they can go to these people and talk to them," Blackson said.

The Sheriff officially fired Staggs for filing the false report. The 28-year-old was on the force just two years.

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