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Ga. Officer Shot While Chasing Armed Suspect

DOUGLAS, Ga. -- Police in Douglas are looking for a suspect who shot a city police officer in the leg after an early morning armed robbery, city police Chief Gary Castelous said.

A Flash Foods store on U.S. 441 on the north side of Douglas was robbed just after 1 a.m. Thursday, and undercover officers in the area spotted a car speeding south through Douglas on a one-way section of the highway, Castelous said.

Uniformed officers pursued the car and stopped it in a parking lot between the Walmart and Lowe's store on the south end where, "Castelous said, "The passenger of the vehicle jumped from the car and ran.''

Patrol officer Larry Carter was pursuing the man on foot when the suspect turned and fired striking Carter in the thigh, he said.

Carter returned fire, the suspect resumed running and went into a wooded area, where Carter gave up the chase partly because of the danger but also because of his leg wound, Castelous said.

The Georgia State Patrol, Coffee County Sheriff's Office and Georgia Bureau of Investigation were searching for the suspect who was still at large just before noon, Castelous said.

The state patrol was searching by helicopter while officers checked businesses and other structures in the busy retail district, he said.

The driver was taken into custody at the scene and was being interviewed by the GBI, which has taken over the investigation because the city had fired his weapon and been wounded, he said.

Castelous said he did not have the name of the driver nor that of the suspect.

Carter was taken to a Savannah hospital for treatment, but was on his way back to Douglas Thursday morning, Castelous said.

"He's fine. It was a through-and-through wound,'' although it was in the thigh in the area of the femoral artery, he said.

Asked if any weapons had been recovered, Castelous said, "The last we saw of the suspect, he still had the firearm."

Copyright 2014 - The Florida Times-Union, Jacksonville

McClatchy-Tribune News Service