Sheriff: Deputy charged with shooting wife placed on leave without pay

Randy Austin employed by Glynn County Sheriff's Office since 1985

Metro Nashville Police Department booking photo of Randy Austin
Metro Nashville Police Department booking photo of Randy Austin

GLYNN COUNTY, Ga. – A Glynn County sheriff's deputy accused of shooting his wife in a hotel room in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, after the two had been out drinking is on administrative leave without pay, the Glynn County Sheriff E. Neal Jump told News4Jax on Tuesday.

Randy Austin, who has been with the Glynn County Sheriff's Office since 1985, is charged with attempted criminal homicide.

Jump said Austin is currently a major assigned to the detention division.

As of early Tuesday evening, Austin, 59, remained in the Davidson County, Tennessee, jail on $500,000 bond, according to online jail records.

Austin's wife was shot in the arm and head, and was in critical condition at a Nashville hospital at last check.

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The Nashville Metropolitan Police Department said the couple were out drinking Thursday afternoon and returned to their hotel room, where police were called after the shooting.

Investigators said evidence suggests Austin's wife had her right arm up in a defensive motion and was squatting or kneeling at the time of the shooting.

The bullet passed through her right forearm and lodged in her right temple.

Police said Austin denied shooting his wife and maintained that she did not shoot herself but said the two were the only ones in the room.

He told police he left his gun on the nightstand, walked away and moments later heard a shot.

According to the arrest affidavit, he said that he saw blood coming from his wife's head and rushed to help her while calling for help. He then picked up the gun, which he said was still in the holster on the floor, and put it in his pocket.

Social media posts appear to show the couple were celebrating their anniversary in Nashville.

The Glynn County sheriff said "very sad events occurred" and "it's sad for both parties involved." He said their hopes and prayers are in the hands of doctors that Austin's wife will recover to the fullest.

Jump added that they have trust in the Police Department to do a thorough investigation and the Police Department has the Sheriff's Office's full support. 

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