Investigator with a metro Atlanta prosecutor’s office shot in car by other motorist, police say

Jul 7, 2023, 6:26 PM | Updated: 7:04 pm

ATLANTA (AP) — An investigator with a metro Atlanta county prosecutor’s office was shot and wounded by another motorist while driving Friday evening, police said, and a widespread search was launched for the suspect using helicopters, canines and road patrols.

Initial information indicated the investigator with the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office was not on duty at the time and a motive for the shooting was not yet known, Sgt. Michele Pihera, a county police spokeswoman, said.

The investigator was apparently shot in the leg at an intersection shortly after 6 p.m., but he was talking with authorities at a hospital and his life was not in danger, Pihera said at a news briefing.

Investigators didn’t know whether it may have been “a road rage incident” or he may have been deliberately targeted or shot for some other reason, Pihera said. There were no “overt signs” or markings on the car to suggest he was an employee of the District Attorney’s office, she added.

“It doesn’t appear right now that the officer was attached to any police investigation. He was simply driving down the road when he was shot at,” the spokeswoman said.

Pihera said she didn’t know if the investigator fired back, but he managed to pull over at a gas station and call for help.

Authorities were searching for a male suspect believed to be driving a silver SUV with some damage on the rear passenger side, according to police. It wasn’t known if anyone else was in the suspect vehicle.

A helicopter clattered overhead as Pihera spoke, and she said county officers in the air and on ground patrol were spreading out.

The wounded official was not immediately identified, and there was no immediate statement issued by the District Attorney’s office.

Authorities urged people to stay away from the shooting site, about 35 miles (55 kilometers) northeast of downtown Atlanta.

Gwinnett is Georgia’s second-most populous county, with more than 950,000 people.

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