ALPHARETTA, Ga. (AP) — Investigators worked Saturday to piece together why a man shot an officer five times during a suburban traffic stop, wounding a bystander and sparking a police shootout that ended in his death.
Alpharetta police officer David Freeman and the wounded woman, whose name was not released, were in stable condition at a hospital Saturday, said George Gordon, a police spokesman.
Authorities identified the slain suspect as Curtis Hicks, 52, of neighboring Marietta. Gordon said Hicks was being pulled over for a tag violation Friday night when he drew a gun and opened fire. Freeman was shot in the lower abdomen, a shoulder and one of his legs while another bullet grazed his back, Gordon said.
Freeman managed to take cover and return fire while calling for help. Gordon said Hicks fled in his truck into the neighboring city of Roswell while firing at pursuing patrol cars. Bullets struck at least four patrol cars, but no other officers were injured, Gordon said.
The bystander who was injured was struck by a bullet in the hip as she drove her SUV.
The chase ended as Hicks crashed his truck and kept shooting at police as he exited the vehicle, Gordon said. Officers returned fire and killed him.
"The suspect was very determined, for whatever reason, to evade capture," Gordon said.
Gordon said Freeman, the wounded officer, was having to undergo surgery for his wounds but was expected to recover fully.
"Basically he was conscious and alert and in good spirits," Gordon said.
Nobody answered the phone Saturday afternoon at a number listed for Hicks in Marietta.
Gordon said police were still trying to figure out a motive.
"We have no idea what set him off at this point," Gordon said. "It could be anything. We just don't know yet."