Two shoplifting suspects in custody after I-75 chase, fiery crash, shooting

This screenshot from a GDOT traffic camera shows a crash on I-75 in Dalton, Ga., on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
This screenshot from a GDOT traffic camera shows a crash on I-75 in Dalton, Ga., on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.
photo This screenshot from a GDOT traffic camera shows a crash on I-75 in Dalton, Ga., on Wednesday, August 22, 2018.

Two people suspected of shoplifting were in custody Wednesday evening after a multi-agency chase down Interstate 75 from Cleveland, Tennessee, ended in a fiery crash in Dalton, Georgia, and an officer-involved shooting.

The episode started at around 5:05 p.m. in Cleveland, when a man and a woman reportedly shoplifted $600-$700 worth of merchandise from the Kohl's department store on Frontage Road.

The woman pepper-sprayed a loss prevention employee, and the man pulled out a gun and told the employee, "I'm going to shoot and kill you," Cleveland Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Evie West told the Times Free Press.

The suspects then fled in a blue Toyota Corolla and headed south on Interstate 75 toward Hamilton County and eventually into Catoosa and Whitfield counties in Georgia.

Georgia Highway Patrol troopers conducted a pursuit intervention technique, or a PIT, maneuver to contain the vehicle, GBI spokeswoman Nelly Miles said.

The man, who was driving, surrendered, but the woman fled in the vehicle, Miles said. Whitfield County Sheriff's Office deputies then used another PIT maneuver to stop her.

The Georgia Department of Transportation reported the resulting crash ended in a car fire that blocked two of three lanes along I-75 southbound just before Exit 333 at West Walnut Avenue. The crash was cleared by 9:40 p.m.

When the woman got out of the vehicle, she had two handguns, Miles said.

Miles said multiple officers fired at the woman, who was struck by gunfire. Her condition was not released late Wednesday night.

No officers were injured, according to law enforcement.

Contact Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6327 with tips or story ideas. Follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

Contact Tyler Jett at tjett@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6476.

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