A 40-year-old Fort Payne, Alabama, man is charged with theft of property and domestic violence after leading police on a vehicle chase and being shot by an officer who feared being run over, according to police.
In a news release, Fort Payne Police Department Chief Randy Bynum said a call about a man allegedly trying to pour gasoline on a female homeowner in the 4100 block of Fischer Road NE came in to dispatchers Tuesday at about 9:25 p.m.
When officers arrived a suspect, later identified as Jeffrey Scott Johnson of Fort Payne, had stolen a white minivan and left, Bynum said.
The suspect drove back by the residence while officers were gathering information and the officers tried to stop the vehicle, the chief said. He said the suspect turned on to Dean Road and drove about a mile, turning off his lights and speeding up while trying to elude officers before turning in to a driveway, Bynum said. The suspect then backed out of the driveway and tried to ram a Fort Payne police vehicle, but his vehicle ended up in a ditch, the sheriff said.
An officer tried to get the suspect to put his vehicle in park and get out of it, but he refused and accelerated toward the officer, Bynum said in the release. The officer fired his service weapon at the suspect's vehicle "as he was in fear of being struck" by it, the sheriff said.
The suspect was struck by the gunfire and treated at the scene by Fort Payne police, DeKalb County sheriff's officers, Fort Payne Fire and Rescue personnel and DeKalb County Ambulance Service personnel.
He was taken to DeKalb Regional hospital, where he was treated for gunshot wounds, and later airlifted to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga.
Johnson is being charged with theft of property in the first degree and domestic violence in the second degree, with each charge carrying a $100,000 bond.
The investigation is continuing, according to the release.