Officer Hit By Bullet During 'Ambush' Actually Shot Himself, Say Police

A police officer who claimed he was shot during an ambush actually shot himself, his department said following an investigation.

John Michael Goulart Jr., an officer in Pineville, Louisiana, is accused of having "altered the facts" after shooting himself on Sunday, the police department said.

Goulart said he had been shot once in the leg, with a second bullet hitting the rear door of his police car, while he was at a shopping center in the city.

On Monday, Deputy Chief Darrell Basco, the Pineville Public Information Officer, said the officer had come under fire after being "ambushed."

Local news station KALB-TV quoted Basco as saying: "There were shots fired at the officer. The officer didn't return fire on anybody. He was exiting the patrol vehicle at the shopping center whenever he was ambushed by an unknown person at this time and two shots were fired. One striking him, and the other hit the vehicle."

However, on Tuesday the department announced that an investigation had "led to a determination that the officer shot himself, concealed and altered the facts."

A statement supplied to Newsweek by the Pineville Police Department said the investigation was now closed and that the 25-year-old officer had been charged with one count of criminal mischief and one count of malfeasance in office.

He was released from custody at the Rapides Parish Detention Center, reportedly on a $10,500 bond, and has been placed on administrative leave.

The incident is not the first of its kind involving a police officer apparently shooting themselves.

In December, a Florida police officer shot himself in the hand after firing his weapon at a dog that was charging towards him during a home visit. The officer fired one shot which hit his own hand and grazed the dog.

"When the police officer got to the front door of the residence, the family pet...ran right past him and went toward the officer," Davie police lieutenant Mark Leone said. "The officer was in fear, drew his firearm and fired one shot."

In a separate incident earlier in 2019, an officer from Cambridge, Massachusetts, accidentally shot himself in the leg with his department-issued gun.

The unnamed officer was getting out of his personal car outside the Cambridge Police Department when he shot himself once in the leg.

The wounded officer was treated at a local hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

In 2015, an off-duty police officer accidentally shot himself in the stomach in an elevator in Cincinnati.

CCTV footage showed Darryl Jouett, who was with his wife, trying to replace his gun in its holster when it accidentally went off.

The bullet ricocheted off the walls before hitting him in the stomach. Jouett, from Kentucky, was wounded in the incident but made a full recovery.