North Charleston police fire sergeant who fabricated shooting story

North Charleston police announced Wednesday they fired Eddie Bullard (right) after he falsely reported he had been shot on July 4.

The North Charleston Police Department has fired Sgt. Eddie Bullard after determining he concocted a story about being shot on July 4.

The police department released a two-line statement this afternoon reporting that Bullard, 46, had been fired on Monday. Police referred further questions to the State Law Enforcement Division, which is investigating the incident.

The firing came three days after Police Chief Jon Zumalt suspended Bullard without pay. The 15-year veteran has not been heard from in days, and he has not returned phone calls from The Post and Courier.

In a hastily called City Hall press conference on Friday, Zumalt said that Bullard’s account of being shot with his gun while defending himself outside a Rivers Avenue business upset the police and the community.

About 4:30 a.m. on the Fourth of July, Bullard radioed a report that he had been shot outside the Carpet Wholesalers store. He told officers he had been jumped from behind after he had stopped to talk with a suspicious man he saw standing outside the store, which was closed.

He reported that the man who jumped him tried to get his gun and during the struggle, the gun fired twice. The bullet struck his protective vest and did not penetrate his abdomen.

Zumalt, who was part of a massive police response to the reported shooting, said Friday that he was immediately uneasy about the facts of the case. “There just wasn’t anything that corroborated what (Bullard) was saying,” Zumalt said. “Finally today I became worried that it didn’t happen as the officer reported it.”

The 46-year-old officer admitted Friday that he lied about the incident, Zumalt said. The chief said at the time that he was concerned about Bullard’s mental health.

“He’s very troubled,” Zumalt said.

Check back with postandcourier.com for more on this story as it becomes available.