BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. — The Georgia State Patrol said a man is dead after he managed to fire a weapon hidden in his waistband while handcuffed during a traffic stop on I-75.
The bullet hit a trooper in the stomach but his bulletproof vest saved his life, police said.
The shooting happened Thursday at Exit 293 in Cartersville, near the exit ramp to Highway 411 in Bartow County.
Channel 2 Action News
reported the shooting around 12:30 p.m.,
Channel 2's Berndt Petersen was on the scene where more than a dozen investigators swarmed around a gold Toyota sedan on the side of the road.
Officials told Petersen a trooper spotted the car they said was driving too slow in the fast lane.
Capt. Mark Perry with the Georgia State Patrol said the female driver was violating what they call the Slowpoke Law.
After pulling the car over, the trooper said he found illegal drugs, money and a gun in the car.
At some point, the first trooper called for backup.
The female driver was taken into custody. The male passenger originally gave a false name to police.
Troopers were able to use a portable fingerprint scanner to get his name and learn that he was already wanted for a parole violation and had been on the run for at least eight months. His identity has not been released.
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Investigators said that after determining the man was wanted, troopers handcuffed him behind his back.
"Apparently, he had a weapon behind his back," Perry said. "The trooper was standing a couple of feet from him. He turns around with his hands behind him and shoots the trooper in the abdomen in the vest."
Perry said the suspect and the female driver had already been patted down, but the officer somehow missed the pistol under the suspect's belt line.
After the suspect started shooting, both troopers fired back and shot the suspect multiple times. He died on the way to the hospital.
The trooper was treated at the hospital and released.
Investigators said they found several addresses for the suspect all over Georgia.
The trooper who was shot wasn't identified. Investigators would only say that he is not a rookie.
Perry said the trooper is lucky to have walked away mostly unscathed.
"The trooper could have lost his life had it not been for the vest, with an abdomen shot," Perry said. "At the very best, ending up with a colostomy bag or suffering. At worst, he could have lost his life."
According to the GBI, there were 97 officer-involved shootings in 2017. So far, there have been 74 in 2018.
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