A traffic stop turned deadly in South Georgia when a suspect dragged an officer with his car and ran him over before dying after two shootouts with police, authorities said.
On Thursday in Colquitt County, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision requested Colquitt County deputies and Moultrie police to assist with several probationers in a small mobile home community off Bob Hiers Road, the GBI said in a news release.
Moultrie is about 200 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta and is about 40 miles southeast of Albany.
Agents and officers attempted to speak to the driver of a Chevrolet Tahoe, Nick Warnell, who was allegedly uncooperative and drove away.
In separate vehicles, an agent and officer followed the Tahoe to the intersection of Hall and Hempstead Church Roads, where they initiated a traffic stop, the release said.
The GBI said Warnell was uncooperative again and became combative, prompting officers to use a Taser that ended up not being effective.
Warnell put his Tahoe in reverse and dragged an officer stuck in the vehicle’s open door down the road a “considerable distance,” the release said. The officer was eventually able to free himself, but was run over in the process.
GBI spokesman Jamy Steinberg told AJC.com the officer was hospitalized but has since been released.
The GBI said Warnell pulled out a rifle, and the other Moultrie police officer, Daniel Lindsay, fired his weapon at the Tahoe. Warnell then allegedly exited the Tahoe and fired at the officers before getting back in his vehicle and driving away.
Neither officer was hit, but their vehicles were both struck by gunfire, the release said.
They called in backup and a responding Colquitt County deputy, Chris Thomas, passed Warnell in his Tahoe on Cannon Road a few miles from the initial shootout, the release said.
Both vehicles pulled over, and Warnell allegedly fired at Thomas’ vehicle, striking the windshield, hood and other areas but missing the deputy, the release said. Thomas returned fire.
Warnell then drove away, and a search by Lowndes County SWAT team members found Warnell’s vehicle, which crashed into a wooded area, the release said.
Warnell was found dead inside the Tahoe, the release said.
In a subsequent news release Monday, the GBI said Warnell died from a gunshot wound after performing an autopsy Friday.
Numerous weapons, extra loaded magazines and loose ammunition were found in his vehicle, the release said.
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