Deputy said motorcyclist shot him. Investigators now believe he shot himself.

Franklin J. Brown
Franklin J. Brown Leslie County Detention Center

State police have charged a former McCreary County deputy sheriff with falsely reporting an attempt on his life.

Franklin J. Brown, 43, was charged with official misconduct, falsely reporting an incident and tampering with physical evidence, according to a Friday news release.

Brown said that when he tried to stop a red motorcycle for a traffic violation on June 24, the operator fired two shots at him with a pistol, hitting Brown in the bulletproof vest he was wearing, according to state police.

Brown’s vest had a bullet in it, but investigators believe he fired the shot himself, said Trooper Lloyd Cochran, a state police spokesman.

Evidence on Cowhorn Road did not match Brown’s account of being shot by the motorcycle driver, Cochran said.

Police did not release details on that evidence.

Police don’t yet know why Brown allegedly shot himself, according to Cochran and McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters, who worked with state police on the investigation.

It’s possible Brown thought getting shot would make him appear heroic, Waters said.

“He had to be looking for some type of glory,” Waters said.

Brown, of Pine Knot, worked as a guard at the McCreary County jail before it closed. He had been a deputy for about a month before the shooting, working weekend shifts only, Waters said.

Brown worked at a trucking company in Tennessee during the week, Waters said.

State police Lt. Bill Elliotte arrested Brown about 6 p.m. Thursday. The investigation continues.

Waters said he suspended Brown soon after the shooting incident and fired him when he assisted state police in arresting Brown.

Waters and a deputy took Brown to jail in Leslie County. Brown didn’t say anything on the way, Waters said.