Wed | Sep 20, 2017

JUST IN: Gunman in vehicle shoots at Georgia officer in US

Published:Friday | July 8, 2016 | 7:02 PM
Dallas Police respond after shots were fired at a Black Lives Matter rally in downtown Dallas on Thursday night.

ATLANTA (AP);
A gunman in a passing vehicle who opened fire on a police officer on patrol in Georgia will likely be charged with aggravated assault on the officer, authorities said Friday. A suspect was apprehended after a short car chase and is in custody.

The shooting happened in Roswell, a city just north of Atlanta, early Friday, just hours after a sniper attack killed five police officers in Dallas, and officers were already on edge, Roswell Detective Zachary Frommer said.

The 21-year-old suspect in the Georgia shooting was being questioned by detectives Friday. Police do not know the motive. Asked whether the shooting might be related to the Texas attacks, Frommer said, "Nothing right now says that it is or isn't."

"I know detectives have been talking to him, but I don't know how much he's talking," Frommer said.

Though he's been speaking with investigators, "his cooperation has been limited," police said in a midmorning update on the case.

The suspect fired multiple shots, but none hit Officer Brian McKenzie or his patrol car, Frommer said. McKenzie is white, police said. The suspect's race was not immediately clear.

McKenzie is a member of the agency's drunken driving task force and was on a routine patrol when he came under attack, police said. The officer didn't immediately know whether the shots were fireworks or gunshots but quickly realized that "gunshots were coming his way," Frommer said.

The officer then chased the blue Ford Explorer with a Georgia license plate, which traveled through a shopping center at one point before striking a curb and median and damaging one of its tires, Frommer said. The suspect was then taken into custody.

McKenzie "jumped right into action and did a great job chasing this guy down and catching him," Frommer said.

Investigators later determined the Explorer had been stolen, police said.

Charges will likely include aggravated assault on a police officer, methamphetamine possession, reckless driving and fleeing and eluding, along with charges relating to the stolen Explorer.

Roswell, a city of about 95,000 people, is about 20 miles north of Atlanta.