One suspect was dead and two others on the run after an alleged carjacking led to gunfire and a crash Thursday afternoon, the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office said.
The wreck happened near the 5000 block of Ga. 92, just west of Wade Green Road, Lt. Jay Baker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The crash site was about a mile from where the alleged carjacking occurred, Baker said.
Investigators believe a trio of suspects took a man’s Dodge Charger at a nearby apartment complex, Baker said. The car’s owner was in the back seat with one suspect and the two other suspects were in the front as the car was being driven, he said.
“According to the victim, one of the suspects was hitting him in the head with a firearm and the gun discharged,” Baker said in an emailed statement. “Moments later, the car left the roadway and struck a tree.”
The car ran off the road, down a ditch and hit a tree near Poplar Valley mobile home park, Baker said.
The suspect who allegedly was driving the Charger died at the scene. After the county coroner arrived and the body was moved, “detectives discovered a gunshot wound in the back of the deceased driver. The cause of death is still unknown and an autopsy is scheduled for Friday,” Baker said.
The search continued for the two suspects who ran from the wrecked car. No names of anyone involved in the incident had been released.
The car’s owner was transported to WellStar Kennestone Hospital for treatment of head injuries. He was later able to provide details to deputies.
A resident of the mobile home park heard the crash and went outside to see what happened. Jonathan Joyner told the AJC he saw a man bleeding in the roadway. Joyner said the man had a lump on his head, scratches, and a twist tie on one hand, which one of the suspects allegedly had put on the victim.
“I couldn’t do much but offer him a cold rag and my porch,” Joyner said. “He said he was trying to fight back.”
Joyner said the victim told him the suspects had threatened several times to kill him.
The Georgia State Patrol is assisting with the crash investigation.