Police officer: Friend shot himself

Feb. 9, 2013 at 3:43 PM

WOODBURY, N.J., Feb. 9 (UPI) -- A South Jersey police officer charged with killing a friend in January told an emergency dispatcher the man shot himself by accident, transcripts show.

A judge released the transcript of the emergency call Friday, the South Jersey Times reported.

James Stuart, who was suspended from the Deptford Police Department after the shooting, said David Compton, 27, of Woodbury was playing with his gun.

"I need an ambulance at 262 Stanford Road right now," Stuart said. "We had a, a, a, man, he was ah playing with a weapon, it was loaded and ah he, there was a shot fired."

Stuart was initially charged with aggravated assault after the Jan. 12 shooting. The charge was upgraded to first-degree murder when Compton was taken off life support a few days later.

The transcript also shows dispatchers at first thought the call might be a joke.

Superior Court Judge Georgia Curio ordered Compton's statements to be removed from the transcript to protect his family. She said his voice would be redacted from audio of the call when that is made available.

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