The suspect, who was not identified, was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital in Marietta to recover from wounds he received in the shooting incident, said Lt. Jay Baker of the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office. The Cherokee County deputy was not injured.
The suspect abandoned the patrol car about four miles down Highway 92 and tried to flee on foot, Baker said.
“He hit another vehicle, that’s the damage to the side of the car,” Baker said of the patrol car. “He finally came to a stop. The back left tire is shredded, and it’s got two other semi-flat tires.”
Baker said the deputy was answering a call about a suspicious man who the caller thought possibly had warrants out for his arrest. Baker said the man was walking on Highway 92 near the Cobb-Cherokee border close to the Colony Center neighborhood when the call came in.
“He was at someone’s home, and they didn’t want him there so he left,” Baker said. “So that’s where the initial call came from.”
When the deputy confronted the suspicious person in the parking lot of Baxter Grocery at 14865 Highway 92, the man fled, Baker said.
“The deputy chased him around the building, then the suspect jumped in the patrol car,” Baker said. “The deputy fired a number of rounds at it, there’s gunshot wounds to the front windshield.”
When the deputy shot at the car, the suspect was hit, Baker said.
“I’ve been working here 21 years. I would say this is the first time I recall seeing a suspect getting into one of our patrol cars and driving away. It’s not something that happens very often,” Baker said.
The man fled westbound and made it about four miles, just past the main entrance for the First Baptist Church of Woodstock on Highway 92, near Neese Road.
Investigators with the Cherokee Sheriff’s Office confirmed the suspect had multiple arrest warrants in multiple jurisdictions, Baker said.
“To my knowledge he has a probation violation out of Gwinnett County and a failure to appear from the city of Woodstock,” Baker said.
Highway 92 westbound was completely shut down and eastbound was moving slowly and backed up for more than a mile.
Erika Jensen lives across from Baxter’s Groceries and was home when the incident happened.
“I was getting ready to leave; I had a doctor’s appointment,” she said. “I heard the shooting, my 3-year-old son heard the shooting and asked ‘Mom, what is that?’ He got scared. And my dog was outside; she started barking.”
Six evidence tags were visible on the ground near the front entrance of Baxter’s Groceries, marking elements of the investigation.
Baker said the Georgia Bureau of Investigation was investigating the incident, “as in any deputy-involved shooting.”