Driver identified in Varnell, Ga., officer-involved shooting

Driver identified in Varnell, Ga., officer-involved shooting

October 20th, 2017 by Tyler Jett in Breaking News
Aaron Patrick Brumlow

The driver in this morning's officer-involved shooting in Varnell went to Erlanger Health System today with a gunshot wound to the hand.

According to a release from Varnell, Ga., Police Chief Lyle Grant, Aaron Patrick Brumlow led Officer Scott Swilley on a chase around 5 a.m. today after Swilley responded to a report of a shoplifting at the Circle K convenience store on Prater Mill Road NE

Including Brumlow, Grant said, there were four people inside a Toyota Camry. The chased veered from Varnell to Cohutta, with both cars reaching about 120 mph. After weaving through several roads, Brumlow drove into the Stonegate subdivision in Cohutta. There, in an undeveloped part of the neighborhood, he reached a dead end.

Grant said Brumlow slowed down. Swilley tried to block him in. But Brumlow then drove toward him, hitting the police car head on. Swilley got out of his car, Grant said, and drew his Glock. He told Swilley to stop several times. 

Grant said Brumlow turned "his vehicle into a weapon" and drove toward the officer, missing him by inches. He said Swilley fired a shot, hitting Brumlow in the hand. He said Brumlow drove away.

The Whitfield County Sheriff's Office then spotted the Camry and began to chase. Tunnel Hill police, Varnell police, the Catoosa County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia State Patrol joined in. They ended the pursuit by hitting his car with a patrol car, forcing him to turn sideways and stop.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is looking into Swilley's actions in the case. Grant said the officer is on administrative leave pending investigation.

Grant also said Brumlow is facing charges, though the department still has not determined what specific crimes they want to pursue. 

On Sept. 14, Brumlow pleaded guilty in Hamilton County Criminal Court to charges of aggravated assault and driving on a revoked license. 

Grant said at least one other person in the car with Brumlow will face charges. He said Brumlow was not the one who shoplifted from the convenience store, kicking off the chase; somebody else in the car was. Officers have not determined the specific culprit, but the convenience store has a surveillance video.

"There's a lot of different investigations," Grant said. "I still haven't got that information yet."