07/10/2006

Georgia officer kills chase suspect

Saeed Ahmed, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Staff

A Holly Springs police officer shot and killed a man Sunday evening after the suspect tried to run him over following a pursuit through two counties, authorities said.

Police had boxed in the supect's Mercedes-Benz on I-575 near the Sixes Road exit and were trying to get to him when he allegedly slammed the vehicle into two Holly Springs patrol cars to keep going.

An officer, who was standing in front of a cruiser that the Mercedes slammed into, was struck.

He fired at the suspect, killing him, said Cherokee County Sheriff Roger Garrison, whose department is handling the investigation into the shooting.

The officer, one of 14 sworn officers serving the seven-square-mile city, was taken to a local hospital, but his injuries were not serious.

The pursuit began shortly before 5:30 p.m. in Cobb County, authorities said. A Marietta police officer was assisting a stranded motorist on northbound I-75 when the driver of the Mercedes did not change lanes and almost struck him, said Marietta police Detective Jake King.

That officer jumped into his patrol car and went after the suspect, following him on I-75 and then onto I-575.

When the Mercedes entered Cherokee County, the officer was told by his supervisor to call off the chase, Marietta police said.

By that time, Holly Springs officers, assisted by Cherokee County sheriff's deputies, had taken up the pursuit.

When officers were finally able to box the car in, the suspect put his car into reverse, hitting one police car, Garrison said.

"Then he put the car in drive, ramming another police car, and throwing that vehicle into a Holly Springs officer," Garrison said.

The officer fired. The Mercedes traveled another 100 yards, crossed into the southbound lanes and ran off the road into a wooded area.

Copyright 2006 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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