ATLANTA (AP) — A gunman in a passing vehicle opened fire on an Atlanta area police officer on routine patrol, firing multiple shots before he was apprehended after a short car chase, Roswell police said early Friday. No one was hit by the shots, they said.
The shooting happened shortly before 1 a.m. Friday, a few hours after a sniper attack that killed five Dallas police officers during a protest so Roswell officers were already on edge, Roswell police Det. Zachary Frommer said.
The suspect in the Georgia shooting was being questioned by detectives Friday morning. Police do not know of a possible motive, nor do they know whether the shooting was related to rising tensions amid recent police shootings of Black men, Frommer said.
Asked whether the shooting might be related to the Texas attacks on police, 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.
The Roswell officer, a member of the agency’s drunken driving task force, didn’t immediately know whether the shots were fireworks or gunshots but quickly realized that “gunshots were coming his way,” Frommer said.
The suspect fired multiple shots, but none connected with the officer or his patrol car, he said.
The officer then chased the blue Ford Explorer, which traveled through a shopping center at one point before striking a curb and median and breaking its tires, Frommer said. The suspect was then taken into custody.
“He jumped right into action and did a great job chasing this guy down and catching him,” Frommer said.
No details about the suspect or any charges were immediately released, though Frommer said the Ford Explorer had a Georgia license plate.
Initially, police believed there might have been a second suspect in the Ford Explorer, so an Atlanta Police Department helicopter was used to search the area. Eventually, police ruled out a second suspect and called off that search.
Police planned to release more information later Friday.
Roswell, a city of about 90,000 people, is about 20 miles north of Atlanta.