UPDATE | Corrections officer wanted for falsifying police report turns self in at Clark County jail
Authorities say the officer has provided "several different descriptions" of the shooter -- and was caught pawning a handgun he claimed had been stolen.
CLARKSVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A Louisville Metro Corrections officer wanted for falsifying a police report turned himself in at the Clark County Detention Center late Friday afternoon.
Clarksville Police had issued an arrest warrant for the officer who was shot in his shoulder during what he said was a break-in at his Clarksville home Saturday night. He is now charged with falsifying a police report.
Clark County Prosecutor Jeremy Mull has identified that corrections officer as Michael Wilburn.
According to Clarksville Police Detective Scott Merchant, the charge doesn't stem from the shooting itself, but from a burglary Wilburn reported the day before. He says police tried to serve the warrant Friday afternoon, but Wilburn wasn't home. Merchant says he has hired an attorney.
Police say Wilburn reported that personal items had been stolen, but officers recovered one of those items -- his wife's handgun -- at a pawn shop. Police say it had been pawned by Wilburn himself.
"It had been sold to a pawn shop on the 17th of this month," Det. Merchant told reporters Friday afternoon.
That same corrections officer was shot during an alleged break-in Saturday night. Police say Wilburn told them someone broke into his home on East Carter Avenue in Clarksville. Wilburn was shot in the shoulder and is expected to be okay.
Clarksville police said Wilburn told responding officers the suspect ran away after firing several shots.
Initially, police say they had identified a person of interest, but on Thursday, that person of interest was cleared of any wrongdoing. On Friday, Det. Merchant reiterated that the individual had nothing to do with the shooting.
"We've discovered since that, talking to our victim, he doesn't fit the description of our person," Det. Merchant said, adding that, "we've gotten several different descriptions from our victim of who the suspect possibly is, and none of them fit our person of interest..."
Det. Merchant added that the individual had no motive for the crime, and had provided information about his whereabouts during the shooting -- information that "checked out."
Merchant said that Wilburn has been caught in several "mistruths," and police don't have any suspects at this time, based on the "descriptions" Wilburn provided. He did add, however, that he doesn't believe there is any threat to the public.
When pressed, Merchant himself declined to identify Wilburn.
"He's asked me not to mention his name," Det. Merchant said. "I don't know if I can or not...right now I don't want to give his name out yet."
Merchant said an arrest warrant had been issued for Wilburn, but when officers tried to serve it, he wasn't home. Wilburn turned himself in hours later.
Despite any "mistruths" Wilburn may have told about the burglary, Merchant said that for now, officers will continue to investigate the shooting.
"I'm still following up on the shooting," Merchant said. "As of right now, I can't say that he's lied about any of that."
However, Merchant admitted that Wilburn's lack of forthrightness has complicated the investigation.
"It makes his statements a little bit -- his credibility has gone down a little bit for us," he said. "He was tying everything to the shooting...we're going to have to prove him right now."
According to detectives, one of Wilburn’s guns was used in the shooting.
“The weapon was his backup weapon, is what we were told, and so that was the only weapon that was recovered or used at the scene,” Det. Merchant said. “Everything came from that one weapon.”
Merchant called officer's actions "frustrating."
"I put a lot of hours in this so far this week, and then to find this out while my investigation is going on, it puts me back to Page 1..." he said.
Falsifying a police report is a Class B misdemeanor.
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