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Police Hunt for Gunman After Georgia Officer Shot

A $5,000 reward is now being offered for help in capturing a man who shot a Cobb County police officer early Friday morning, authorities said.

More than 10 hours after the incident, officers from a half-dozen agencies continued to search for the gunman whom police are considering armed and dangerous.

"When we've got an armed gunman out there on foot, loose in the area, we don't want him to cause injury or death to anybody," Cobb County Police spokesman Michael Bowman said Friday.

As an army of officers panned out through the neighborhood near Smyrna, going door to door, residents who watched the manhunt voiced their concern and desire to work with police.

"I'd grab hold of him until somebody came and got him," said Clyde Neal, a 91-year-old World War II U.S. Marine veteran who lives across the street from the apartment complex where the shooting took place.

By late Friday afternoon, the search had been scaled back.

The officer, identified as D. Rogers, was on a routine patrol shortly after 1 a.m. when he encountered a suspicious man walking through the Concord Chase Apartments on Hurt Road near Smyrna, Bowman said.

When the man saw the officer, he ran, Bowman said.

The officer chased him, and the man turned and fired at least once, hitting Rogers, police said.

The gunman escaped, and police said the officer, who was wearing a bullet-proof vest, was taken to an area hospital for treatment. He was released Friday afternoon and was recovering at home.

"We all wear vests," Bowman said. "If he was shot in the upper area where he wears the vest, it could have saved his life."

Police are hoping to contain the shooter in a one-mile area around the shooting.

"Within a minute and a half (of the shooting), we already had officers on the scene securing a perimeter," Bowman said. "We want (the gunman) to know, 'You didn't kill the officer. He's in good condition. Let's not make it any worse than it already is.' "

Four-year resident Winter Lester said the shooting of a police officer -- on top of problems with drugs, fights and gang activity -- has convinced her it is time to move.

"This is the last straw," Lester told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I'm not going to be anywhere I'm not safe."

In contrast, Neal said he wasn't troubled by any threat the gunman might pose.

"As long as they don't mess with me," he said.

SWAT units from Cobb County police and the Cobb sheriff's office were joined by officers from Powder Springs, Smyrna, Austell and the Cobb County Fire Department, Bowman said. A DeKalb County helicopter unit also was assisting.

"We believe he's still on foot in the area," Bowman said.

Bowman said officers were searching through abandoned apartment units in the complex.

Police are looking for a black man of medium to thin build with a dark complexion and short hair in twists, wearing a white T-shirt and khaki pants.

"If you see him, please call 911 immediately," Bowman said.

Copyright 2013 - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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