High-speed chase ends in gunfire, death - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

High-speed chase ends in gunfire, death

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By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

Arlington, GA (WALB) -  A deadly high speed police chase in Calhoun County ended with the suspect shot dead by law officers.

Just after 6:00AM Friday, a Calhoun County deputy tried to pull over the driver of a Chevy Avalanche.

The man took off and led officers on a 20 miles chase into Arlington where the whole thing ended in gunfire from an Edison Officer.

Chad Pierce was driving 90 miles per hour without the lights on. Investigators say its why they continued the chase Pierce trying to get him off the roads.

Arlington Mayor Jerome Brackins heard the crash and chase as it neared his Pioneer Road home. "Once he passed my drive I said to myself he's not going to make that turn at the end of Pioneer and he hit the ditch at that time I saw three police cruisers behind him," said  Brackins.

Brackins says officers jumped out and appeared to yell at the driver. Then he heard the shots. "After about two or three minutes of that that's when I heard the shots."

Investigators say dash camera video caught the moments leading up to the crash. Calhoun County Sheriff's Deputies began chasing Pierce when they caught him doing 90 miles per hour outside Edison on Highway 37.

They chased him to Morgan where he drove with his headlights off into oncoming traffic and then along Highway 45 into Arlington onto Mayhaw and then Pioneer.

"I understand he almost hit a car head on," said Calhoun County Sheriff Josh Hilton.

But he can't explain why Pierce would run or travel so fast toward a dangerous turn he likely was familiar with. "I have no idea..."

Mayor Jerome Brackins says it's not the first time chases have ended at Pioneer and Woodvalley Road. "This is about the fourth or fifth time that we've had an incident, whether it was a person from outside of town or in town to run off into that ditch there with police behind them."

Now police officers must piece together just what type of movement Pierce might have been making to cause officers to open fire.

The GBI said it was Pierce reaching for his consol and glove box that cause an Edison officer to fire at him three times. Investigators never found a weapon inside Pierce's truck, but they did find empty beer cans and a strong odor of alcohol.

While the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office initiated the traffic stop, officers from Edison and Arlington joined in the chase, and also caught portions of what happened on their dashboard cameras. That video is under review.


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