Officer who shot woman accidentally is identified

October 03, 2003

The Anne Arundel County Police Department released yesterday the name of the officer who they said accidentally shot a pregnant woman in the right hand during a weapons search at a home early Wednesday.

Officer James Phillips, a 14-year veteran, will be on administrative leave during a departmental review of the shooting, said Lt. Joseph Jordan. That action follows departmental procedures for all shootings involving officers, Jordan said.

Phillips, a member of the special operations unit, accidentally fired his weapon while officers searched a home in Pioneer City about 4 a.m. Wednesday, police said. Officers later arrested two 17-year-olds and charged them with numerous weapons and drug violations.

The woman who was injured, Michele Andrea Church, 33, was released yesterday from Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore, a hospital spokeswoman said. It appears that the shooting has not caused any complications with her pregnancy, police said.

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