A Georgia State trooper attempted to stop a motorist for speeding Wednesday afternoon on I-75 in Marietta. That traffic stop led to a 10-mile high speed chase that ended with a trooper shot, twice and traffic being backed up for hours.
The incident unfolded about 3:35 p.m. when Trooper First Class Jacob Fields, a three-year veteran, attempted to stop a speeding motorist on I-75 south near Chastain Road, according to GSP. The pickup truck, which had allegedly been clocked going 98 miles per hour, refused to stop and continued down I-75 to Delk Road. Fields followed.
Two more troopers joined in the pursuit of the Chevrolet Silverado and attempted to stop the pickup truck with a boxed-in maneuver, Capt. Mark Perry said. The truck finally came to a stop after rear-ending a civilian’s vehicle, Perry said. There was no report that the motorist was injured.
“After the suspect struck the vehicle, he exited his vehicle and began shooting at the troopers,” Perry said. Fields was struck in his abdomen and leg below his bulletproof vest. Troopers returned fire and shot the suspect multiple times, officials said.
“And all of a sudden I saw this black SUV and this black car and they block him in against the concrete wall and then I see, I’m watching in my mirror, and the officer jumps out and it sounded like fireworks,” witness Chelsea Carter told Channel 2 Action News. “It had to have been like 15 shots, it was just like pow, pow, pow, pow, pow. Everyone is like slamming on their brakes and then I look and the officer is like looking down, limping back towards his car. I was on the phone with this guys from work and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, he got shot.’ It was crazy.”
Fields and the suspect were transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital where Fields was stable and alert after surgery. But the condition of the suspect, 26-year-old Israel Vladimir Rodriguez, was unknown.
The troopers involved in the incident will be placed on standard administrative leave while the Georgia Bureau of Investigation handles the investigation, Perry said. Rodriguez, of Acworth, is facing charges of aggravated assault on a police officer and numerous other charges related to the pursuit, GBI spokesman Scott Dutton said, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
For several hours, traffic on I-75 southbound snarled for miles as police blocked off the interstate at South Marietta Parkway and diverted traffic onto that road. Around 7 p.m., one lane of the interstate had been opened, according to Marietta police.