Crime & Courts

Columbia policeman fired after off-duty shooting incident

An officer with the Columbia Police Department was fired Tuesday after a shooting incident during a physical altercation the night before while he was off duty.

Tracy Hudson, who had been with the department since 2008, was terminated for neglect of duty, willful violation of policies and procedures, improper conduct, use and handling of a weapon offense, and carrying a handgun during off-duty hours, Police Chief Skip Holbrook said in a news release.

Hudson, 46, faces the charge of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature and pointing and presenting a firearm, Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news release Tuesday evening.

Hudson and another man got into an argument in the parking lot of Serenity Restaurant and Lounge at 301 Rice Meadow Way off Hardscrabble Road at 11:30 p.m. Monday, Lott said.

Hudson allegedly went to his truck, got his gun, and with gun in hand, approached the other man, punched him in the face and then the two scuffled.

During the scuffle, the victim was hit in the head with Hudson's gun and at some point, the gun went off, hitting both the victim and Hudson, Lott said.

The sheriff's department decided to pursue charges against Hudson after watching a surveillance video of the altercation and talking to witnesses and people who know both Hudson and the victim, Lott said.

Hudson faces arrest upon his release from the hospital where he is being treated for a gunshot wound to the leg. The other man was being treated for a gunshot wound to the arm and abrasion to the head.

RACHAEL MYERS LOWE, rlowe@thestate.com

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