published Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

GBI investigates officer-involved shooting in Calhoun, Ga.

State officials are investigating whether a police officer in Calhoun, Ga., followed proper procedure when he shot a man in the neck after the man fired a shotgun at the officer during a chase, authorities said.

The Calhoun officer, who has not been identified at this time, is on administrative leave with pay pending the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's inquiry, said Police Chief Garry Moss in a news release.

GBI's investigation is normal procedure when an officer uses force, said GBI Special Agent in Charge Jerry Scott.

On Sunday, a man, who also has not been identified, ran a stop sign in front of the officer, Moss said. When the officer questioned the driver, he fled and the officer chased him to the end of New Zion Road.

When the man tried to drive off road, his tires struck a railroad crosstie, flattening his tires, said police spokesman Lt. Tony Pyle. The man then fled on foot, carrying a 12-gauge shotgun, Pyle said.

After a short chase, the officer said the man turned around and fired once at him with the shotgun, Pyle said.The officer then fired about five times and one struck the man's neck.

The suspect was airlifted to Erlanger hospital and on Monday he was listed in stable condition, Moss said. The officer was unharmed.

Police believe the suspect tried to outrun the officer because he is a convicted felon and had two guns -- the shotgun and a hunting rifle -- in his vehicle, which is illegal, Pyle said. Investigators also will do a blood alcohol sample to see if the man had been drinking and driving, he said.

Police are looking at charging the man with multiple charges including felony obstruction, fleeing to elude arrest and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, Pyle said.

Contact staff writer Joy Lukachick at or 423-757-6659.

about Joy Lukachick Smith...

Joy Lukachick Smith is the city government reporter for the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Since 2009, she's covered crime and court systems in North Georgia and rural Tennessee, landed an exclusive in-prison interview with a former cop convicted of killing his wife, exposed impropriety in an FBI-led, child-sex online sting and exposed corruption in government agencies. Earlier this year, Smith won the Malcolm Law Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting. She also won first place in ...

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