COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A sheriff said Tuesday that former South Carolina football player Kenny Miles shot himself in the arm, but told investigators it happened during a robbery and the ex-player will be charged with filing a false police report.
Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott wouldn't speculate about why Miles shot himself on Nov. 4, then lied about it. He said at a news conference that there was no evidence anyone else was in the parking lot at the time or that other criminal activity was going on.
Miles issued a statement through his lawyer saying he made a mistake and that he was not involved in anything criminal. The statement does not say why Miles was handling the gun when he was wounded.
"I was scared and worried how my actions would be perceived. I only made matters worse by not telling the truth. I make no excuses for my behavior," Miles said in the statement issued by attorney Neal Lourie.
Lourie also wouldn't talk about why Miles was armed or what he was doing when he was shot.
"I'm not going to get into the events at this time," Lourie said.
Miles remains under a doctor's care for the gunshot wound, and deputies will charge him when he recovers, the sheriff said.
While he recovers, Miles also remains on leave from his job as a messenger for the South Carolina Attorney General's Office.
The shooting happened on a Monday afternoon in an industrial park on a dead-end street just off Interstate 26 near Irmo. Miles initially told deputies a man was trying to take his championship rings and money.
The gun used in the shooting was found in Miles' car trunk. Deputies found the bullet that traveled through Miles' arm, and it matched the weapon, Lott said.
Deputies searched for hours for a possible gunman before Miles came clean and told them the truth, Lott said.
"We did a very intensive investigation — wasted a lot of manpower, a lot of time on," Lott said at the news conference in Columbia. "I hope the courts rule that he will reimburse the sheriff's department and the taxpayers of Richland County for the time and effort we put into it."
Miles played high school football in Lawrenceville, Ga., and spent most of his career with the Gamecocks backing up star running back Marcus Lattimore. Miles ran for 1,341 yards on 315 carries. He graduated with a degree in criminal justice.
Miles apologized to South Carolina fans as well as deputies, his employer, and his friends and family.
"I want you to know that I do not take your support lightly or for granted," Miles said. "I only hope that you will forgive me and allow me to earn your trust back over time."