Shooting Suspect Says He Was Just Goofing Off

Jackie Sulfridge is accused of trying to kill Whitley County Sheriff Lawrence Hodge. From the jail where's he's being held on a $100,000 cash bond, he claims he never saw Hodge when he fired two shotgun shells.

Sulfridge admits to having a shotgun with him in the front seat of his car. He says the kids were in the backseat helping him look for deer. However, when he pulled up to a home where the sheriff was investigating a break in, Sulfridge says all he did next was simply a classic case of goofing off.

“We do stuff like that. I shot up in the air; stick the shotgun out the window, fired two shots, shooting in the woods. That's something we do, we're country boys,” says Sulfridge, from the Whitley County jail where he’s been since he was arrested and charged with trying to shoot the sheriff.

Howeer, Sheriff Hodge says he believes he was under fire. “You can hear bullets whistling by you,” he says.

Hodge returned fire. Sulfridge says that's when he thought he was the one being shot at. “All of a sudden, somebody's shooting at me,” he says. “I say, ‘what the heck!’”

Sulfridge says he's been in trouble before on alcohol charges. But Hodge says that trouble also includes drugs. In fact, he says Sulfridge was so high, they are waiting to question him until he sobers up.

Police say it was a struggle to get the gun. Sulfridge says he tried to say he was sorry.

“Yes it is a misunderstanding. I wish Hodge would accept my apology,” says Sulfridge.

Hodge says Sulfridge was a threat to him and the children.

“If he gets 20 years in prison, that wouldn't be enough. Just to place his kids in that kind of danger,” says Hodge.

Sulfridge’s children are now in the custody of Social Services. Sulfridge’s wife, also arrested at the scene in connection with a break-in, was being treated at a local hospital. Police say she was suffering from some kind of drug reaction.