published Monday, May 9th, 2011

Police investigate shots fired at trooper’s car

Chattanooga police are trying to determine who fired a shot at a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper working on Interstate 24 near the Fourth Avenue exit Saturday night, according to Sgt. Jerri Weary.

Trooper Gordon Roberts, 46, told investigators he was seated inside his car working overtime in the I-24 construction zone about 11:15 p.m. when he heard a loud bang. Roberts looked up and saw his passenger window and front window had shattered, and he realized he’d been shot at. He pulled his vehicle forward to avoid being hit again and called for backup.

Chattanooga police investigators determined the round may have been fired from the area of East Lake Courts, a public housing project, Weary said.

Roberts, who joined the THP in 2002, wasn’t injured but was checked by medical personnel because of the amount of shattered glass, she said.

“We are glad that Trooper Roberts was unharmed, and are cooperating fully with the Chattanooga Police Department,” THP spokeswoman Dalya Qualls said in an emailed statement Sunday.

Sunday afternoon, few police officers were in the area where the shot was fired, and several local residents said they knew nothing about the incident.

Qualls said Roberts was conducting traffic control, sitting parked with his emergency lights flashing in the construction zone where crews are repairing the interstate.

Weary said the investigation is continuing, and Qualls said the THP Criminal Investigations Division is assisting.

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