published Monday, August 19th, 2013

Man who police named as suspect is cleared in Brainerd attempted robbery

  • photo
    An attempted robbery on Brainerd Road evolved into a police chase with a stolen squad car Saturday night, leaving one suspect in police custody and another dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
    Photo by WRCB-TV Channel 3 /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Chattanooga police cleared a man they originally said was a suspect in a robbery over the weekend, according to a released statement from the department.

Police had detained 46-year-old Darryl Roberts in the back of a patrol car after they found him at a CVS Pharmacy an hour after an attempted robbery at Tiffany Nails, 5509 Brainerd Road, on Saturday night.

A robbery suspect identified as 37-year-old Antonio Sheffield from Gulfport, Miss. fired at officers who responded to the Economy Inn, 5505 Brainerd Road. As officers fired back, Sheffield managed to round the building, strike an officer with a handgun before taking the patrol car Roberts was sitting in.

Sheffield sped away in the stolen patrol car across the state line to Georgia. The vehicle crashed.

“A short time after, his vehicle came to a stop,” said Georgia Bureau of Investigation Special Agent in Charge Greg Ramey. “I think officers were nearby or present.”

Georgia State Patrol and Whitfield County Sheriff’s Department were able to stop the vehicle on North Dug Gap Road, according to police.

Roberts was uninjured. Shortly after the crash, Sheffield turned a handgun on himself and pulled the trigger, said Whitfield County Coroner Bobbie Dixon.

“It was a suicide,” she said.

GBI is investigating Sheffield’s death.

Sheffield was sentenced in 2001 to 116 months for possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, crack cocaine, and felony possession of a firearm in 2001. He appealed and his sentence was reduced to 99 months and three days. He was released in March 2008 from a medium security facility in Yazoo City, Miss. He was placed on a five-year supervision period.

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