Officers shoot fleeing suspect - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Officers shoot fleeing suspect

August 7, 2002

19-year-old Scott Allen Gaines is recovering from surgery at Crisp Regional Hospital. He was shot in the stomach when a police officer identified him as the suspect of an armed robbery at Pecan House. The officer says he was protecting himself and the people around him.

Police say it all started at the Pecan House for Gaines. The store just off I-75 at exit 102 was robbed at gunpoint at 1:30 Wednesday afternoon.

The clerk watched the suspect getaway in a white Chevrolet pickup truck.

"Officers went North on the Interstate in an effort to stop the suspect," Chief Dwayne Orrick said. "One officer spotted the vehicle getting off at 109 in Vienna."

Gaines just 7 miles from the site of the robbery apparently needed gas. The officer pulled behind Gaines at the Shell Station and told him he matched the suspect's description.

"Asked him if he could frisk him for his own safety," Orrick said. "Gaines told him, 'I want you to know I have a gun.'"

The officer says with several people at nearby pumps, he tried to get Gaines into custody, but he struggled free.

"Gaines was trying to get his hands out of his pocket, fired two shots, one striking him in the lower abdomen," Orrick said. "Gaines then re-entered his truck."

He got to Dooly County High School and jumped out of his truck, but Vienna's police chief was now on the case. He spotted him and got him in handcuffs, while the school went into an emergency lockdown. Cordele's police chief is praising all the officers involved, especially his own.

"Officer involved seasoned official who's been here a long time and does a great job, "he did an exemplary job today."

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was called in to make sure the shooting was justified. 

The 14 year veteran police officer whose name is not being released is on administrative leave. The chief says psychologists will help him deal with the shooting.

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