Homeowner: "I shot police officer in self defense"

Homeowner: "I shot police officer in self defense"

A Garland County homeowner says he shot a police officer in self defense. It's the latest turn in the Diamondhead police shooting earlier this week. We're also learning a lot more about officer Fred Ensminger's past.
A Garland County homeowner says he shot a police officer in self defense.  It's the latest turn in the Diamondhead police shooting earlier this week.  We're also learning a lot more about officer Fred Ensminger's past.
   
Diamondhead Police Chief Pat Mahoney wouldn't allow us on property Thursday, so Friday FOX16 went back with a resident escorting us around the area.

We wanted to get Jerry Chambliss's side of the story, why he got in a shootout with a police officer Wednesday.  Chambliss wasn't home, but he did answer his phone.

"As the night wore on the handcuffs got looser, that's the way I like to say it," Chambliss says.

Police say officer John Frederick Ensminger, off-duty and in an unmarked truck, followed a woman to her home.  The woman, frightened, called her husband Jerry Chambliss, who then called police.

After Chambliss called police, he came to the edge of his driveway to meet his wife. She pulled into the driveway.  When he saw officer Ensminger in his truck behind her, he says that's when the situation got much worse.

"He came in and I put my arms up and I said no, don't come on the property, just stop and tell me what’s going on,” Chambliss says.  “And he just wizzed in there and ran over me."

Chambliss says he still has no idea what prompted Ensminger to follow his wife.

"He never said a word, never showed a badge, never had lights, no uniform, no nothing," Chambliss says.

This is not the first officer involved shooting for Fred Ensminger.  He shot a suspect who ran from him in December 2005 as a cop in Alexander.  In the state police report, Ensminger states the suspect took his hands out of his pockets and he saw a something shiny he thought was a gun.  It was later determined the shiny items were compact discs. 

The Pulaski County prosecutors office issued a report in January 2006 saying his use of deadly force was justified in that shooting.

In June 2006, Pulaski County deputies sent Ensminger to jail for getting into a fight with his girlfriend in the parking lot of the Alexander Police Department.  He resigned the next day.

Ensminger was also fired as an officer in Shannon Hills for an alleged assault in March 2005.

Chambliss says he'd never seen or heard of officer Ensminger until two days ago.

"He shot first, I can tell you that,” Chambliss says.  “It was 100% total complete self defense I assure you, otherwise the cops would've arrested me, they know."

The shooting is still under investigation.  We're expected to know whether the prosecutor will file charges against Chambliss or officer Ensminger perhaps as early as next week.

I also tried to talk to the Diamondhead Police Chief about Ensminger's checkered past, but he wasn't in his office and did not return any messages left for him.

Ensminger was shot in the shoulder and is recovering in a Hot Springs hospital.

Mahoney tells FOX16 News it's just the third shooting in the Diamondhead gated community in the last 10 years.
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