Georgia trooper shoots traveler after speeding stop

AP News
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Posted: May 22, 2015 7:33 PM

TIFTON, Ga. (AP) — A traffic stop on a south Georgia freeway Friday morning ended with a state trooper shooting a passenger after getting into a confrontation with him as the driver was being taken into custody.

The shooting happened just after 11 a.m. near Tifton in south Georgia, Georgia Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Sherry Lang said.

A trooper stopped the car the couple were riding in for speeding. The trooper ran the driver's name through a database and learned that her license was suspended, said GBI Special Agent In Charge J.T. Ricketson.

"While he was taking her into custody and dealing with that, he ended up in a confrontation with the male passenger," Ricketson said.

The trooper fired a single gunshot that hit the passenger, who was taken away by ambulance, according to Lang, who said the man appeared to have been shot in his upper body. He was treated at a hospital for a non-life-threatening injury and taken into custody, Ricketson said.

The man "was taking over operation of the vehicle," before the shot was fired, Ricketson said. He said he could not say whether the man had gotten out of the car, and it was unclear whether the confrontation with the trooper was a physical one.

Ricketson added that the trooper's patrol car was equipped with a dashboard camera and the GBI has audio of the encounter. Ricketson said he had not yet seen the video and could not say when it or the audio would be released.

The identities of the man and driver haven't been released. Ricketson said the couple were headed north when they were stopped. The car they were riding in had Tennessee plates.